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The Marple Newtown football famlily mourns the loss of former football student-athlete John Gallagher, who passed away on Sunday. Gallagher was a four-year member of the Tigers football team from 2004-2007. 

“John Gallagher was an amazing running back, one of the fastest kids I have ever seen,” said Marple Newtown Director of Athletics, Chris Gicking. “He still holds many school records here at Marple Newtown. He was an unbelievable young man. He will be missed but not forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.”

Gallagher appeared in 22 varsity games in his three-year career at Marple Newtown. He helped the Tigers compile a 22-11 record over a three-year span between 2005 through 2007 including a postseason birth in 2006. His efforts landed him All-Delco Honorable Mention twice, earning them in his junior and senior campaigns under head coach Ray Gionta.

He produced 2,464 all-purpose yards, 5th all-time, and 20 touchdowns for Marple Newtown as a tailback as well as a return specialist. In 2007, Gallagher found the endzone 11 times and received the Chris Gicking Offensive MVP Award in the process.

Gallagher excelled in track and field for the Tigers, where he still holds a school record as a member of the 4 x 100M relay team as well as the 100M dash.

2007 (7-4): 1,159 All-Purpose 

  • 93 rushes, 730 yards, 11 TDs
  • 10 catches, 153 yards
  • PR: 6 returns for 60 yards
  • KR: 10 returns for 216 yards

2006 (8-3): 1,243 All-Purpose

  • 105 rushes, 633 yards, 6 TDs
  • 8 catches, 98 yards, 2 TDs
  • PR: 9 for 129 yards
  • KR: 14 returns, 383 yards, TD

2005 (7-4): 62 All-Purpose

In the classroom, Gallagher graduated from Marple Newtown, Class of 2008 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology from Millersville University in Millersville, PA.

Plans for his remembrance  are as follows:

Friday, May 26th: 6:30 pm to 9 pm at Ruffenach Funeral Home (Drexel Hill, PA)

Saturday, May 27th: 8:30 am to 9:30 am at Ruffenach Funeral Home

10 am at Saint Pius X (Broomall, PA)

Burial is private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marple Newtown Football Alumni Association or CADES.

Members of the Marple Newtown community and athletics family are invited to share their thoughts, prayers and memories of John. To add your thoughts, prayers or memories, please email

Two memories stand out for me about John as a football player. The first vivid memory was a game in November 2006 against Conestoga. It was a must-win for MN if they were to get into the post season. John found the endzone twice for the Tigers and his second TD that night came in the 4th quarter on a rare pass play that resulted in six points. That sealed the game as there was no stopping #28 that night. He and John Rutecki each had 100 yards on the ground and collectively put the Tigers on their backs. John added another 100 yards on kick returns as well. That victory propelled the Tigers into their first playoff appearance ever and provided me with one of my favorite memories as a Marple Newtown alumnus.

The second memory was in 2007 against Lower Merion. MN destroyed LM, 62-6, which was no surprise. Halfway through the 3rd quarter Coach Gionta was about to pull John from a game that was all but over. He left Gallagher in for one last play from the MN 33-yard line and John ran 67 yards for the TD. He ended the day with 200 yards rushing on 9 carries. John was a terrific sprinter and had only one speed – FAST.

Off the field, John was such a warm and engaging person, a pleasure to speak with and be around. He was a tremendous fan of Marple Newtown athletics and would often text our color commentator during football broadcasts to cheer us on and express how much he loved listening to his old team. He was easily our biggest alumni fan. John will be missed.

Jim Allsman, Public Address Announcer

You think of two things when John Gallagher comes to mind: Awesome kid to be around & Fast!

I was fortunate enough to meet John when I was a sophomore at MN. He & I worked out everyday together to prepare for our junior & senior years at the old Main Line Health Center gym. We would always reminisce that there hasn’t been a gym like that since.

John’s friendship went beyond football and we remained friends throughout & post college. We always talked about MN football and Seinfeld and I always enjoyed sharing a laugh with him. I never heard a negative comment come out of his mouth. He was such a positive kid and his energy always brightened up a room.

John will be deeply missed by so many but his legacy will live on forever.

Steve Reynolds, Color Commentator, Tigers Radio Network

I’m so sadden by the loss of John. I remember him always being super energetic, happy, and just an all around good guy. He was a force on the football field and our team was lucky to have him. John will definitely be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Mike Young, MN Class of 2007