Portarlington GAA Club

Founded 1893

Co. Laois

Philip 'Chilly' Ward.

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There are not too many men in this world that can claim to be instantly identified by just the mention of a single name, but Philip 'Chilly' Ward could, and did for decades in Portarlington.

Chilly was a Port man to his bones, born and reared on Bracklone Street to Johnny & Betty Ward and grew up the youngest of three siblings with Ann & PJ.

The Ward's connections with Port GAA can be traced back to the 19th century and the formation of our club in the Autumn of 1888, when at the first meeting of what would become Portarlington GAA Club, were Tom & John Ward.

That family involvement continues to the present day, and along the way in the late 1970's came a young Philip to ply his trade in the Mill Field as his ancestors did before him.

And his timing could not have been better.

Chilly came to prominence at a golden time for Port football in the early 80's & he played a vital part in Port's successes.

In 1983 alone he would pick up two medals, as captain of the U15 county champions and a minor medal in Port's victory that year in an 8 point win over Portlaoise.

The underage set was completed in 1986 when Chilly featured at full forward in another toppling of Portlaoise in the U21 final, sealing his legacy in the Ward family story with Port GAA.

His passion for Port continued after he had hung up his boots as he became a vital asset to underage football over 3 decades, with countless young players benefitting from his experience as a coach.

Many of the current senior panel were part of teams that Chilly took under his wing as young footballers making their way through to the success they enjoy today.

Even despite some health challenges last year, he was still committed to underage football with the U15's, as soon as he was able to get back on the sideline.

True to form, three of his sons, Jason, PJ & Seany followed in his footsteps and wore the Maroon & Green as he did, a source of great pride to him not only as coach, but as dad too.

Madeline didn't escape the Port bug either & the Chilly effect has also seen her become a fantastic asset to the club for numerous years!

Chilly was a great Port man, but more importantly he was a great Husband, father, brother & friend. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

We offer our condolences to Madeline, Jason, Katie, PJ & Seany. To sister Ann, brother PJ and to all the extended Ward family.

Rest easy Chilly.

Funeral arrangements here.

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