Published Monday, 15 October 2012
Brolly (left) and Finnegan after the operation. (© PA)
The 42-year-old former Derry star gave the organ to Belfast PR executive and fellow GAA enthusiast Shane Finnegan.
It was initially functioning well but complications followed and it had to be removed in a London hospital on Friday.
A statement from the Belfast Trust said the two families are "devastated" by the outcome.
It continued: "We can confirm that Mr Brolly is recovering very well having donated his kidney on 3 October. However, sadly after initially functioning well, there were complications with the transplant and the kidney had to be removed on October 12th.
"This is a rare and unfortunate occurrence after kidney transplantation, (most kidneys from a living donor work successfully for many years), and whilst both families are naturally devastated, they are hugely encouraged by the massive wave of goodwill and support from the community and the resultant increased public awareness of the critical importance of organ donation."
Brolly, a two-time all-star who is now a barrister and TV sports pundit, knows Mr Finnegan from coaching an under-10s team at St Brigid's gaelic club in Belfast.
His 40-year-old friend has suffered from kidney problems for 20 years and has had two failed transplants previously - one of them after 12 years.
The Belfast Trust said Mr Finnegan is "confident" that he will be home soon and able to resume a full family and work life, with the support of friends and family.
"For both men and their families, this has been a life affirming experience," it said.
"Both Shane and Joe are very keen to support the Trust's campaign for organ donation and when fit and ready have agreed to spearhead a drive to increase the number of donors."