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Irish stalwart Kelly passes away

Published: Wednesday 20 May 2009, 20.16CET
Supporters of the Republic of Ireland and Preston North End FC are mourning the death of legendary goalkeeper Alan Kelly Sr – "A man who served his country with distinction" – aged 72 after illness.
Irish stalwart Kelly passes away
FAI chief executive John Delaney spoke fondly of Alan Kelly Sr ©Sportsfile
Published: Wednesday 20 May 2009, 20.16CET

Irish stalwart Kelly passes away

Supporters of the Republic of Ireland and Preston North End FC are mourning the death of legendary goalkeeper Alan Kelly Sr – "A man who served his country with distinction" – aged 72 after illness.

Supporters of the Republic of Ireland and Preston North End FC are mourning the death of legendary goalkeeper Alan Kelly Sr at the age of 72 after illness.

Hero
Kelly won 47 caps between 1958 and 1973 and also took charge of the Irish senior team for a game against Switzerland in 1980. Kelly was also regarded as a hero at English second-tier club Preston, for whom he made a club record 513 appearances in a 17-year spell at Deepdale. When his playing career was cut short by injury he joined the coaching staff at Preston and served as manager from 1983 to 1985. He had been based in the United States for the latter part of his life where he worked as a goalkeeping coach with a number of clubs and also ran his own coaching course.

Family ties
His influence continued after he stopped playing as two of his sons, Alan Jr and Gary, were both goalkeepers who played in England's top tier. Alan Jr went on to win 34 caps and is now goalkeeping coach with Giovanni Trapattoni's senior team. John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, said: "Alan Kelly Sr will be sadly missed by everyone here in the FAI and by all followers of Irish football. He was a stalwart of the Irish team during the 1960s and will always be remembered as one of our greatest ever goalkeepers, a man who wore the Irish jersey with pride and always served his country with distinction."

Last updated: 21/05/09 0.05CET

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