Republic legend Kelly dies

 

Soccer:Alan Kelly senior, one of the most respected goalkeepers of his generation, has died following an illness.

Born in Dublin in 1936, Alan Kelly was capped 47 times for Ireland between 1958 and 1973. He also captained his country for a 1972 World Cup qualifier against the Soviet Union and managed his country in 1980 for a home game against Switzerland.

His son Alan Kelly junior is the current Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach to the senior team and was capped for Ireland 34 times.

Leading the tributes, FAI president David Blood said: “Alan Kelly senior was a former record caps holder and a great servant to Irish football.

“He started his playing career in the League of Ireland before moving to Preston North End where he made a club record 514 appearances and became a legend at Deepdale where the Town End was named in his honour in 2001.

“With the passing of Alan Kelly senior, we have lost one of Ireland’s greatest ever goalkeepers.”

FAI chief executive John Delaney added: “Alan Kelly senior 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.”