Tributes paid to late Ireland defender Eamon Deacy

The former Republic of Ireland defender Eamon Deacy – part of Aston Villa FC's English championship-winning squad of 1980/81 – has passed away at the age of 53.

Eamon Deacy, the former Aston Villa FC and Republic of Ireland defender
Eamon Deacy, the former Aston Villa FC and Republic of Ireland defender ©Getty Images

Former Aston Villa FC players have paid tribute to their late team-mate and ex-Republic of Ireland defender Eamon 'Chick' Deacy who died suddenly at the age of 53 in his native Galway.

Deacy had a brief international career with Ireland, winning four senior caps in 1982, but was never forgotten at Villa Park where he was part of the Aston Villa side that won the English league title in 1980/81. He was a non-playing member of the squad when the Birmingham-based club lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1982.

"He was so proud of the team's success but he was a modest man. I can't highlight enough the contribution he made," Deacy's former Villa colleague Ken McNaught told the club's website.

Deacy was one of only 14 players used by Villa on their way to winning that English championship. He returned to Ireland in his mid-20s, going on to play part time for his local side Galway United FC. Before his spell with Villa, Deacy had played for Galway Rovers FC, scoring their first-ever League of Ireland goal in 1977. He also represented, among others, Limerick FC and Sligo Rovers FC, and had a period on loan at Derby County FC in England.