John Rooney Obituary, Death – John Rooney, better known as ‘JR,’ advised and managed many boxers, including former world super-middleweight champion Brian Magee. The local boxing community revered Rooney, who died recently, leaving a legacy of dedication and support for young fighters. John Rooney and his late friend Pat Magee helped shape the careers of Brian Magee, Tommy McCarthy, Anthony Cacace, and Phil Sutcliffe Jr.
They knew Brian Magee since Rooney, a Holy Trinity club leader, mentored young boxers. Brian remembered Rooney’s dedication to his students during their morning routines. Brian Magee remembered, “I went to the Holy Trinity club and ran three laps around the Park every morning while JR walked. He opened the gym in January, turned on the heat, and put me through circuits. He was so nice. JR was fully committed to you.”
Local boxing fans revered John Rooney and Pat Magee’s unbeatable team. Beyond their working cooperation, they were close friends and had many memorable occasions. Brian Magee remembered their funny golf arguments, especially one in Panama during his training camp. They bonded through these shared experiences. Brian stated, “He was a character on vacations, but he would stick up for you, which is important in boxing, and always up for a sing-song.
JR never needed an invite or mic. He sang on his first try. It was his way, and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ was his favorite.” The Rooney family continues John’s legacy in Belfast boxing. His son Barry coaches, and his grandson James just competed in the European Schools Championships in Slovenia. John Rooney’s legacy in boxing is shown by this continuity. The grateful Brian Magee said, “He was a real family man, and he’ll be missed.” John Rooney’s influence as a mentor, manager, and friend to Belfast boxing will be remembered for centuries. He shaped the careers and lives of innumerable boxers due to his dedication and enthusiasm for the sport.