Globe's McDonough dies at 67
Page 4 of 4 -- ''Will loved the Globe. We were his extended family,'' said Don Skwar, assistant managing editor/sports at the Globe. ''So many sports staffers have come up to me and said they feel like they've lost a brother. Will was like a big brother or father to us all. It's tough to lose his devotion to this department as a reporter, a columnist, and a counselor to so many of us. He will be deeply missed.''
Added former Globe editor Matthew V. Storin: ''Will McDonough was possibly the last of a breed. Through his columns he rewarded his friends and slammed his enemies in such a way that he himself was a major player in Boston sports. But he was a phenomenal reporter, particularly on professional football. No one had better contacts or broke more stories, and he played a major role in building the outstanding reputation of the Globe sports section.''
As news of his death spread during the day yesterday, the condolences poured into the Globe's sports department, Mr. McDonough's working home since becoming a part-timer while at Northeastern in 1957: ''He was one of my best friends,'' said Bill Parcells. ''Those are the people you can count on the fingers of one hand.'' Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, whose professional football association with Mr. McDonough spanned four decades, remembered him as ''a giant in his profession. We kind of grew up together. But time never really stops for the great ones. You give them a cloak of immortality and remember everything about their greatness. I'll miss him terribly. He was a great friend.''
Said Patriots owner Bob Kraft: ''Professionally, Will was one of a kind. As a Patriots fan in the early 1960s, I became a big fan of Will's coverage of the team. He was an institution, not only in Boston, but in the world of sports journalism. He was a larger-than-life reporter who, by the power of his pen, changed the way sports are covered. It is a great loss.'' Added Patriots head coach Bill Belichick: ''This is a terrible shock. Just three days ago, Will and I talked about the playoffs, and he was his typical self - excited about the upcoming games, going through the matchups and, as usual, working angles that nobody else had thought of. That was Will - passionate about the game and extremely knowledgeable but always looking for something new to add to his wealth of information and deliver it to the public.''
Mr. McDonough steered clear of hockey in terms of regular coverage during his career, but during the late 1960s he made a steadfast friend in Boston Bruins President Harry Sinden.
''I am going to miss Will McDonough very much as a good friend and a good man, both professionally and personally,'' Sinden said yesterday. ''He was a loyal friend and a trusted friend. I will remember him with admiration for his integrity, his hard work, his knowledge and his professionalism.''
Joe O'Donnell, the chairman and CEO of the Boston Concessions Group and one of Mr. McDonough's closest friends, offered this: ''The characteristic about Willie I admire the most, over his tenure as a sport writer, then as sport celebrity, first regionally and then nationally, is he's a guy who could walk with kings, and he never forgot where he came from. I think of a guy who walks into the NFL meetings and the commissioner greets him personally, and Willie's worried about the doorman getting the right tip. He never missed the common touch.''
Among his many friends, Mr. McDonough's charitable works were legendary. He was a key player in the founding of the Red Auerbach Foundation, his son Sean's foundation, the Joey Fund, named for Mr. O'Donnell's son, numerous benefit golf tournaments, and the charities closest to his heart: the Marr Boys Club and Notre Dame Academy of Hingham where his sisters, Mary Martina, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and Margaret are teachers.
He leaves his wife, Denise, two daughters, Erin of Norwell and Cara of Hingham; three sons, Sean of North Quincy, Terence of Raleigh, N.C., and Ryan of Hingham; three sisters, Sister Mary Martina McDonough, SND, of Hingham, Ellen Eccleston of Roseville, Calif., and Margaret McDonough of Weymouth; a brother, Martin of Hyde Park; and four grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be said at 11 o'clock Wednesday morning at St. Augustine's Church in South Boston.
Globe Staffers Ron Borges, Nick Cafardo and Joe Sullivan contributed to this report.