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Jimmy Stewart: Popular Co Down milkman was named All-Ireland clubman of year.

25 August 2017

There wasn't an inch of the GAA grounds in Ballyvarley, Co Down that Jimmy Stewart didn't know.
The popular milkman marked out the field, cut the grass and generally looked after the premises.
He coached various teams down the years and held almost every committee role.
He was also heavily involved in the club's cultural life, organising ceilidhs and Scór competitions.
In fact, Jimmy spent just about all his spare time at the home of Ballyvarley Hurling Club and Aghaderg GFC.

Always there with a smile and story to tell, he was the beating heart of the club community and instilled a love of Gaelic games in generations of families.

He was a former Aghaderg club person of the year, and in 1985 his remarkable dedication was also recognised when he was named Down, Ulster and All-Ireland 'Clubman of the Year'.
The national award was an incredibly proud moment for his club and family and his contribution was later also celebrated by President Mary McAleese.

Jimmy was born in May 1929 to William and Brigid Stewart in the townland of Ballygowan, on the outskirts of Banbridge, and was football-mad from a young age.
He dreamed of becoming a teacher, but was needed to work on the family farm.
A football injury then forced him to swap jobs with his brother John and he began work as a milkman.
He would spend more than four decades rising early to deliver his rounds and there is hardly a family from Banbridge to Dromore that does not have fond memories of him.

Jimmy was 24 when he met his wife May at a dance in Ballyvarley hall and they had eight children together.
He reared them with the same values as his own - integrity, honesty and an ability to see the good in everyone - and was blessed with 16 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Jimmy was hugely proud of his family and enjoyed keeping in touch with relatives in America and bringing the children on visits to older neighbours and friends.

A lifelong Pioneer, he was also a keen whist player and chairman until recent times of the Knockveigh branch of the SDLP.

Jimmy Stewart died aged 88 on August 5.

He is survived by his wife May, children Moya, Liam, Declan, Felicity, Eugene, Jim, Dermot and Sinead and sisters Kathleen, Teresa and Bridie.

His presence, his kindness, his smile and dedication to his family and community will be sorely missed