Irish golfer David Feherty has tweeted that his oldest son has died of a drug overdose. According to the retired player, Shey Feherty died on his 29th birthday. Feherty and his brother, Rory, were the products of their father's marriage to South African beauty queen, Caroline Feherty, which ended in 1995. David Feherty won 10 professional tournaments during his career in Europe and the U.S. He retired in 1997 and has since become a regular commentator on CBS, NBC and the Golf Channel. In 2010, the golfer, originally from Bangor in Northern Ireland, became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
His obituary called Shey "our beautiful and charismatic son and brother."
My first born son is gone from me, dying from an overdose on his 29th birthday. Bless his sweet heart, I will fight on.— David Feherty (@Fehertwit) August 1, 2017
According to his obituary, Shey died on July 29. His funeral was held at the Restland Abbey Church in Dallas on August 1. At the time of his death, Shey was a resident of the city. His father and brothers also live in the Dallas area. The tribute refers to Shey as "our beautiful and charismatic son and brother." The piece notes that in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Center for Addiction and Recovery Studies in Dallas.
David Feherty has been open about his own struggles with alcohol and drugs
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph in December 2015, David Feherty spoke candidly of his pain-killer and alcohol dependency. David Feherty said, "A typical day was 30-40 Vicodin and two and a half bottles of whiskey." The golfer went on to describe how his second wife, Anita, whom he married in May 1996, ultimately helped him to get clean. The golfer has been sober since 2005.
David Feherty divorced his son's mother, Caroline, in 1995 after the couple had relocated to Dallas. Eventually, David Feherty and Anita were given custody of Shey and Rory. Anita Feherty had two sons of her own from her first marriage. She and David Feherty have a daughter, Erin, born in 1998. On her Twitter page, Anita Feherty refers to herself as "Married to David. Four boys and one daughter."
Shey Feherty was working as an entrepreneur at the time of his death
According to his LinkedIn page, Shey Feherty was the CEO of a Dallas-based company named Sheyco Group. The profile says that Feherty founded the company in April 2016. The company's blurb on LinkedIn reads, "Sheyco Group was founded 2016 in Dallas Texas by Shey Feherty. Shey runs a team of data consultants and has built a Third-Party Network with a specialized IT company. Our field Statisticians begin by applying mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information."
Prior to that, Feherty had founded a company named Sports Concie in May 2015. An endorsement of Feherty from Chuck Goodman of Goodies for Goodman reads, "I have known Shey for a number of years – he is what I call 'mature beyond his years' – Shey pays attention to detail and is always polite & professional! Quite impressive, especially in this day & age!" The LinkedIn page notes that Shey spoke Afrikaans.
Celebrities including Niall Horan took to Twitter to offer their condolences
Thoughts are with David and his family at this terrible time. @Fehertwit— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) August 1, 2017
Celebrities including Niall Horan and Don Cheadle have taken to Twitter to offer their condolences to the Feherty family. Here are some of the most poignant messages:
Just awful news. My family prays for yours.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) August 1, 2017
Thinking about everything David Feherty has been through just breaks my damn heart.— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) August 1, 2017
Damn, David. I'm so sorry to hear it. We will be thinking of you and wishing you some peace.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) August 1, 2017
Oh, David. Gutted. No words. Thinking of you and love you, man. 🙏🏿— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 1, 2017
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with drug addiction, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on 1-800-662-HELP (4357).