Keith Long and Trevor Croly pay tribute to Robbie Brunton

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - Harp Lager League Cup

The Bohemians management team of Keith Long and Trevor Croly have paid tribute to Robbie Brunton after his sad passing this morning at the age of just 47.

Brunton was a favourite at Dalymount Park in his spell with the club between 1998 and 2000.

His affinity with Bohs lasted beyond his playing career – he was a regular in Dalyer in recent years with his two sons Ryan and Darragh.

Long said: “It is absolutely devastating for his wife and children. To lose your father at 47 is incredibly cruel, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

“I played against him all the way up, and played with him on representative teams at underage levels before playing with him at Stoke City.

“As a player, he was a tough competitor. We had some great battles when we were both back in the League of Ireland when he was at Sligo and Bohs, and I was at Dundalk and St Pat’s.

“But it was particularly great to see him again in the last few years coming to games with his sons, who are both Junior Gypsies.

“Robbie suffered silently and put on a brave face, so coming to Dalymount was very much a relief and outlet for him over the last number of years.

“He often offered a welcome opinion to myself or Trevor on how things were going. He will be sorely missed around the place, and my heart goes out to his wife and two sons.”

Croly said: “Robbie grew up in Dunard, I grew up in Arbour Hill, and we played together at Belvo.

“I used to get lifts with Robbie and his father to games – they would collect me at the Cattle Market. We weren’t just team-mates, we became good friends from travelling together.

“He was Belvo through and through. He was with them from the age of seven with their U9s. He went away to Stoke but always kept in touch and kept in touch with the Belvo boys right until the end.

“He was a cracking footballer. Tough… he’d go through you! But he wasn’t just a great player, he was a great bloke too.

“He had a real affinity to Bohs. He remained good friends with many of the Bohs team of that era, the likes of Donal Broughan, Derek Swan, Shaun Maher and others.

“Since becoming ill, he would never complain. He would always have his next target to look forward to, usually a Rovers game.

“Coming down to Dalymount with his two boys was very important to him. He had a great love of Bohs, and a great dislike of Rovers!

“He would always send me a text on the Friday before our game, and another one on the Saturday after the game. He was very blunt and would tell you where we went wrong!

“We are going to miss him.”

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