Legendary Drogheda town official Mick Toner has been shortlisted for the Volunteer Ireland Award in the Sports and Recreational sector.

A retired Garda Toner has achieved the distinction of being a Dundalk man who is loved in Drogheda and trust us that doesn’t happen very often.

His citation on the Volunteer Ireland page says it all.

It reads, ‘Retired Garda Mick Toner has been volunteering with Drogheda Town FC for 50 years:

“I thoroughly enjoy the involvement in the community,” Mick says, “And offering facilities for the younger generations to participate in sports.”

In his role as Chairperson, Mick dedicates long hours to the issues of running a club, such as paying bills, dealing with banks and insurance, and seeking support and funding to keep the club going. Mick is motivated by a drive to make a positive impact in the community.

Drogheda FC engages almost 300 children. Adults play for the club as well, and many local groups use the club’s grounds and clubhouse.

“Every second person in Drogheda knows Mick,” say his Drogheda Town FC colleagues.

“He looks to help club members on and off the pitch. Mention his name in Drogheda and you’ll get a warm response. You’ll have better luck finding gold on the streets of Drogheda than finding somebody with a bad word to say about Mick. This a testament to the positive impact he’s had on the lives of people in Drogheda and beyond, over many years, both as a Garda and a volunteer.

“Our evolution as a club is ahead of much bigger clubs, owing to Mick’s vision. For example, the volunteer-led development of the clubhouse and grounds. His vision was to create a community hub which would benefit both young and old. A venue that would compare favourably with any community centre in the country and help instil a sense of pride locally.

“Mick is 70 now and each day he piles his energy into helping others. As Chairperson of Drogheda Town FC, he’s busy every day. The role is not merely 9 to 5, it’s 24/7.”