Liffey Wanderers stars pay tribute to club legend John 'Wembo' Young

John Young revolutionised Liffey Wanderers after their reformation in 2013.

John Young revolutionised Liffey Wanderers after their reformation in 2013. Credit: Liffey Wanderers

Liffey Wanderers stars past and present have delivered words of tribute to club legend John ‘Wembo’ Young, who passed away on Thursday, September 14th after a two-year battle with cancer.

The Ringsend native was an architect of Liffeys’ success over the past decade and continued to work with the club in a backroom capacity after stepping back from management in 2019.

Young made history as he guided the Pearse Street club to the FAI Junior Cup and FAI Intermediate Cup titles in the space of three years in 2015 and 2017.

He had a lifelong involvement with clubs in the south inner city, including St Pat’s CY and Markiewicz Celtic.

But it was with Liffey Wanderers he was most strongly associated, his father and grandfather having been part of the club’s fabric for decades before him.

He was involved with the club as they reformed in 2013 following a short hiatus and helped them move quickly through the AUL and into the Leinster Senior League.

A 2-1 victory after extra time over perennial winners Sheriff YC saw Liffeys crowned FAI Junior Cup champions at the Aviva Stadium in 2017.

And they returned to the same venue two years later after switching to intermediate football in the LSL and beat Cobh Wanders 5-4 on penalties after the sides were deadlocked at 2-2.

Young was closely involved, along with the committee, in work to secure a new clubhouse on the quays before the Covid-19 lockdown intervened.

Former Liffeys player Clayton Maher said: “There’s not enough words to describe you Wem, I’ve looked up to you since I’m 17 and always will. 

“I’ll be forever grateful for the memories you gave me and the area and making me into the player I am today. Sending all my love to the family.”

Glen Uzell said: “Heartbroken, the Gaffer. Gave so many young men the chance to play and grew them. 

“Nobody will ever come close to this man, a real LEGEND. There will never be another like this man, thanks for everything Gaffer.”

Dean Kinsella added: “A giant of a man. The communities of Pearse St/Ringsend has lost a huge character and an absolute gentleman. 

“The word “Legend” can be overstated but not for a man like Wembo. A genuine Legend who will be missed by everyone who knew him. RIP Big Wem.”

And Sean Brazil said: “The best to ever do it, nothing but the best memories.”

John Young is survived by wife Leila, sons Gary and Dean, grandchildren Jake, Olivia an Ava and his mother Kathleen.

A digital book of condolences has been opened here.