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Kilkenny Rugby

Kilkenny Rugby Club laments the loss of a valuable friend and mentor.

Enda Cantwell RIPMembers of Kilkenny Rugby Club (KRFC) were deeply shocked by the sad news on the loss of one of the clubs best known and respected players, Enda Cantwell, last week.  No words can express the sadness felt by all at KRFC for this huge loss.

As the news filtered through on Friday, the local rugby fraternity gathered in Enda’s favourite local hostelry, ‘The Blue Bar’ in Patrick Street, to reminisce on the wonderful times spent with this rugby icon and friend. Tears flowed from men who would normally cope with a lot of pain, however the pain of this loss was just too much to handle.

Enda was a jovial and very pleasant fellow who was held in very high esteem by all his friends and acquaintances. His sheer presence and authoritative posture would command respect from even the mightiest of personage. It was always a delight to meet him. It is with great fondness that I myself remember travelling to rugby matches on Sundays with him in his car, which for some unknown reason was always shining, reflecting his own personality.

He would from time to time ‘stress out’ at the amount of players that ‘Paki and The Red’ had taken from him on selection day, nevertheless, he would produce a team that would play their hearts out for him! With his vast rugby experience and knowledge he had the unique ability to create a team that many clubs would envy! And if things were really tight he would ‘come out of retirement’ and pull on the No. 8 jersey himself.


On one such occasion, against Wexford, he played twenty minutes. In that short time he managed to knock the ball forward seven times, was repeatedly penalised for offside and was eventually ‘sin-binned’. On leaving the pitch, he commented “this time I’m staying in retirement”.

Enda began his rugby playing career as a youth with Kilkenny but given his enormous frame, he moved to basketball where he enjoyed great success as a young player with Club Amber. In his early twenties, Enda took up the oval ball once again and according to his loving father Tom (T.C.), he loved rugby and was always itching to get back on the field. He quickly made his mark in the club and friendships abounded. He was very much respected by both younger and older players alike. Enda won Provincial Towns Cup, Leinster League and South-East Cup medals as a player with Kilkenny and more recently a Leinster League title as coach to the Seconds.

Enda will never be forgotten. It will be hard for those who he left behind to walk into “The Blue” and not see him in his usual spot at the end of the bar or to see him bounding along the touchline in frustration, with hands on his head! However we will take solace in the fact that he is reunited with his great friend John “Bruiser” Byrne and I’m sure Enda is already organising a team for the ‘Cup’!

Enda, our thoughts and support are with you and your family. You will be sadly missed by one and all and we hope that you have found peace. Until we meet again old friend.

Padraic Treacy
PRO, Kilkenny Rugby Club


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