By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Chester assistant football coach John Marsilio told Danny Mulvey on Monday night what he tells every graduating senior.
“I thanked him and I told him that I love him,” Marsilio said.
Except, Mulvey wasn’t moving on to college. Marsilio was paying his final respects to Mulvey. He was saying goodbye. After a 16-year battle with cancer, Mulvey, who served as an inspiration to the team and the close-knit town, died at approximately 10 p.m. on Monday evening.
He was 20-years-old and formerly served as Chester’s team manager/water boy.
“Danny was always there,” Marsilio said. “Danny was doing film with us, he did everything with us. No matter what was going on in his life, he would always have a smile on his face. Danny was positive and uplifting. He changed a lot of lives. He changed my life for the better and we all loved him.”
Chester coach Ron Stover and his staff visited Mulvey on Monday night, approximately three hours before he passed away. The Hambletonians began wearing stickers with the initials “DM” and a three-leaf clover when Mulvey took a turn for the worse in hospice care last week.
Chester will have a moment of silence when it hosts Tri-Valley at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
“This is a devastating loss,” Chester assistant coach Ryan Stover said. “Danny never complained about his situation. It makes it reflect on a lot of things. You realize how small of a person you are because you are often filled with self-pity and over indulgence. You realize that your problems are nothing compared to Danny’s. We just want to let his entire family know that our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
For most of his life, Mulvey battled a rare form of cancer called chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. When he was just seven-years-old, doctors told Mulvey’s parents that he had just two to six months to live, but he underwent a bone marrow transplant that saved him. Mulvey underwent several surgeries to remove benign and malignant tumors. Through it all, he never complained, keeping a positive attitude and strong faith.
As team manager/water boy, became a Chester football fixture. Proudly wearing his No. 5 jersey, Mulvey attended practices and games. His highlight came in 2014 when, dressed in full gear, Chester surprised him and allowed him to score a touchdown before a game.
“I’m heartbroken. Danny was my best friend,” said former Chester star wide receiver Brandon Sadlier, who now plays at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. “I will always remember his strength, faith and courage. Danny was just an unbelievable person. He set an example for everyone and was an inspiration to this community.”
Sadlier drove six hours from Rochester to Chester last Saturday to say goodbye to Mulvey.
“I’m glad I got to see him one last time,” Sadlier said. “I needed to come down. Danny was sleeping, but his parents told me to just talk into his ear, he could listen to me. So I had a heart-to-heart conversation with him. I just reflected on all of the good times that we’ve had. Danny has been such a good friend to me and I love him like a brother.”
Wake Information for Danny Mulvey:
Memorial contributions to the Danny Mulvey Fund c/o Orange County Trust, 91 Brookside Avenue, Chester, N.Y. 10918