Gle­nealy pay re­spects to late club leg­end Paul Kelly

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

THE hurl­ing com­mu­nity of Gle­nealy was deeply sad­dened to hear of the death of Paul Kelly, Townsville, St. Mary’s Rd, Ark­low re­cently.

Paul, for­merly of Chapel Lane, Gle­nealy, was one of Gle­nealy’s hurl­ing he­roes. Born into a farming fam­ily only yards from the lo­cal hurl­ing field, it wasn’t long be­fore Paul picked up a hurl and soon came to the no­tice of the hurl­ing se­lec­tors.

In 1950 he won his first medal when Gle­nealy won the Mi­nor cham­pi­onship. This was fol­lowed by fur­ther Mi­nor wins in 1951 and 1952, to com­plete a three-in-a-row.

In 1950 Paul was on the Ju­nior team de­feated by Avoca in the fi­nal, but he was back again in 1951 when Gle­nealy swept all op­po­nents aside to win the Ju­nior cham­pi­onship and earn the right to com­pete at Se­nior level.

In 1953 Paul on the Se­nior team de­feated by a strong Avoca side in the county fi­nal.

Paul’s big­gest day came in 1957 when he stepped out in the num­ber three jer­sey against the favourites Avon­dale in the Se­nior county fi­nal. Gle­nealy won their first Se­nior ti­tle that day and Paul gave an ex­hi­bi­tion of de­fend­ing that pro­pelled Gle­nealy to a vic­tory that is still talked about and earned him the ti­tle ‘The man of steel’.

Un­for­tu­nately, Paul, like a lot of young hurlers from the vil­lage, had to em­i­grate to find work, and his short but suc­cess­ful hurl­ing ca­reer was over in his early 20s.

Paul spent over 30 years away from home, got mar­ried and raised a fam­ily. When he re­turned to Ire­land he set­tled in Ark­low and started a garage busi­ness, but he never for­got his Gle­nealy roots and was a great sup­porter of Gle­nealy hurl­ing teams. He also served on var­i­ous com­mit­tees and could al­ways be seen at any func­tion the club held.

Paul passed away last May af­ter fight­ing the good fight against se­ri­ous illness, sadly Paul didn’t live long enough to see his grand­son Cal play a piv­otal role for AGB in get­ting to the Se­nior foot­ball fi­nal this year, but no man would have been prouder than him.

To Paul’s wife Jackie, daugh­ter Fiona, sons Si­mon, Sean and Liam, sis­ter June, son in law, daugh­ters in law, grand­chil­dren, nieces, neph­ews and the ex­tended fam­ily and friends we ex­tend our deep­est sym­pa­thy. RIP.

The Carnew Em­mets un­der-16 foot­ballers af­ter their nar­row vic­tory over a gallant Bray Em­mets side.

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