The funeral of 19-year-old Brendán Óg Ó Dufaigh was told of the community's dream to see the Monaghan Under-20s captain play "on the great GAA pitches and stages of Ireland".
Brendán was killed in a car crash on Friday evening while he was driving home after his team's Ulster FC semi-final win over Donegal.
His father Brendan, mother Esther and sisters Aine and Claire were among mourners at the mass at St McCartan's Cathedral.
Ahead of the service, teammates formed a guard of honour as the young footballer's coffin, draped in a Monaghan flag, was carried into the church.
Canon Paddy McGinn told mourners of a young man with talent, humility and faith.
"Ógie himself had a very living faith. In pre-Covid times, he would go to morning mass before a game. He had his rosary beads and cross in the side pocket of his kit bag last Friday night," he said.
Amid the crowds of mourners gathered outside, many wore Monaghan jerseys and also jerseys of his home club Monaghan Harps. A number had 'Ógie' printed on the back.
"He was invited to join the U20 panel, and this year was selected captain of the 2021 team. He didn't announce this, indeed he hardly told his parents. Ógie was always very humble - he never played up his game. All he would ever say was 'I had a good enough game'."
Mourners heard of Brendán's keen sportsmanship, having also played basketball and participated in the gala finals for Sliabh Beagh swimming club.
"It's not what we had hoped for. We hoped that Ógie's star would have continued to shine on his family and loved ones and on the greatest GAA pitches and stages in Ireland," Canon McGinn said.
"Pious platitudes are not any use to us today. We cannot solve the mystery. All we can do is huddle in grief around the remains of shattered dreams and what might have been.
"We believe that young glint in the eye of the shining star of Ógie Ó Dufaigh is shining on all of us today."
Among the congregation at Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan were GAA President Larry McCarthy and Taoiseach Micheál Martin's Aide de Camp Commandant Caroline Burke.
Burial took place at nearby St Joseph's Old Cemetery following the funeral mass.