Waterford FC lost one of its greatest ever heroes this week. Shamie Coad, known fondly as The Major, was a player, a manager and a gentleman whose influence on football and footballers in Waterford is immeasurable. He passed away on Tuesday, aged 81, and we mourn and celebrate a great man today.
A winner of four League titles, an FAI Cup (with Limerick), three Top Four trophies, two Munster Senior Cups and an FAI Shield, he was part of one of the club’s famous dynasties alongside his brother Paddy, sons Gary, Nigel and David and grandson Conor.
Shamie made his Blues debut in a challenge game against Shamrock Rovers on the 5th of October 1956 under floodlights at Tolka Park and his senior competitive debut two days later in a Shield game against Bohemians at Kilcohan Park, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 win when he slammed high into the net from an Eddie O’Grady cross.
He became a regular for the 1959/60 season and dropped back to left half back a year later for the next five seasons. He switched back to the forward line in 1965/66, where he finished the club’s second highest scorer behind Mick Lynch, on the way to winning the League title for the first time.
‘Major’ won a Shield medal in 1968 and played both of the European Cup games against Manchester United. His final season with Waterford came in 1969/70, where his versatility came to the fore as he was deployed in a utility role as the Blues won their fourth league title. In all, he played 363 senior games for Waterford, scoring 104 goals (53 in the League). He moved to Limerick in July 1970 and won the FAI Cup in 1971.
Shamie returned to Kilcohan Park in September 1990, initially taking over as caretaker-manager, later permanent. He also managed the Blues reserve side in the mid-90s, winning the B Division title in 1995, and the U-21 team in the early 2000s, steering them to the U-21 League and Cup double in the space of four days in April 2002.
Most importantly, he was the beloved husband of Helena, father to David, Gary, Laura and Nigel, and grandfather to six including our Under 17s coach Conor. He will be greatly missed, but fondly remembered by all at the club and throughout football in the country.