Conor fought like a Trojan to the end

Conor Toman.
Conor Toman.

Immensely popular Lurgan athlete Conor Toman fought like a Trojan right to the end of his life.

Conor passed away from gastric cancer on Friday aged just 41 but his family said he leaves a legacy which extends far beyond Lurgan.

A keen athlete Conor tackled one of the toughest challenges in sport - the gruelling Ironman event where his reputation as an outstanding competitor was soon secured.

Conor’s sister Katherine McStay said: “Conor was super, super fit. He had a large circle of people from all walks of life - friends, workmates and people from the sporting world.

“He has left behind a legacy, a lot of people aspired to be like him.”

In 2016 Conor tackled one of the toughest challenges in an already testing sport - the Ironman Wales - which he competed in during September 2016. He completed the course in under 14 hours, a testament to his fitness and determination.

Ironically he would already have had the cancer which so tragically cut short his life at that stage, although he did not know it.

He also took part in Ironman Dublin in 2017 before his illness began to take its terrible toll.

In his last year he suffered pains in his body, lost three stone in weight and had to stop competing.

He was diagnosed with gastric cancer on October 6, 2018, six months later on April 6 this year the brave fighter lost his battle.

Katherine said: “He never wanted to know how long he had left. We held a fundraiser for his treatment in November, we were full of hope. He kept fighting and we were trying all sort of treatments, alternative therapies and faith healers.

“He fought like a Trojan right to his last days.”

She concluded: “He has left a legacy and was spoken of highly by his friends,”

A number of tributes were paid online to the popular Lurgan man.

Paying a simple tribute on social media his daughter Erín wrote: “Fly high Daddy”.

A former classmate said: “So, so sad. A great man... Thinking of the family at this sad time. Rest in peace.”

The Lurgan Grapevine Facebook page posted: “Conor was a gentleman, one of the good guys. Only last year the grapevine was celebrating Conor’s Ironman achievements.

“I had the privilege of chatting to him on a few occasions about the sport to which he was so committed. This is very hard to take in. Deepest condolences to Conor’s fiancé Susan and all his family and friends.”

Conor passed away peacefully at Southern Area Hospice, Newry.

He was the dearly beloved partner of Susan, Brownlow Terrace, Lurgan and loving daddy of Erín and Ella, much loved son of Hugh and Mena, beloved brother of Katherine and Claire, brother-in-law of Jonathan and Mark and a loving uncle to his nephews and nieces.

His funeral takes place today (Tuesday) at 10am from his parents home 18 Levin Road to St Peter’s Church for 10 30am Requiem Mass. Interment afterwards in St Colman’s Cemetery.

Very deeply regretted by his loving partner, children, parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces and family circle.

Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to Southern, Area Hospice Newry c/o Jack McLearnon & Son Funeral Directors 75 North Street Lurgan BT67 9AH or donation box in the home.