Longtime Sheffield Wednesday fan dies aged just 52

Keiran Ahern with his son, Brendan, at Hillsborough
Keiran Ahern with his son, Brendan, at Hillsborough
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An Irish Sheffield Wednesday supporter who became an Owls fan after childhood visits to the Steel City has died aged just 52.

Keiran Ahern was a former season ticket holder at Hillsborough, despite living in a village near Peterborough in his later years.

Keiran Ahern with Lee Bullen at a reunion dinner in March 2015

Keiran Ahern with Lee Bullen at a reunion dinner in March 2015

He was born and raised in Bagenalstown in County Carlow, Ireland.

Keiran’s brother-in-law, Mike Lawton, who lives in Sheffield, said: “He and his two elder brothers stood out among the football supporters in their small town because of their support for Sheffield Wednesday.

“The majority followed Liverpool or Manchester United – as do most Irish fans of English teams.

“Their allegiance to Wednesday was forged through their eldest sister, Anne Lawton, who lived in Sheffield with her two Wednesdayite sons.”

Whenever Keiran visited Anne in Sheffield, they would always try to take a trip to Hillsborough.

Keiran later settled in England with his wife, Sue, and their son, Brendan – another Owl.

Mike said: “The biggest highlight in Keiran’s life as an Owls fan, came on that wonderful weekend in Cardiff, when he joined 40,000 Wednesdayites in cheering their team to victory in the league one play-off final against Hartlepool.

“The whole atmosphere of that weekend was ingrained in his memory. So much so, that despite being in ill health he made the 200-mile round trip to Hillsborough, accompanied by Brendan, to attend a reunion dinner earlier this year with the players from that match.

“He had a wonderful time, the icing on the cake being when the Wednesday captain of the play off team, Lee Bullen, came over to chat to him.”

Keiran’s funeral will be held in Peterborough and mourners have been asked to wear blue and white.