The Great Humphrey Kelleher

The Humphrey Kelleher Cup for juvenile gaelic footballers is to honour the name
Of the legendary gaelic footballer who scaled the heights of fame
The Iron Man of Millstreet as Michael O Hehir used to say
One who was quite fearless on the field of play.
A likeable character in every way
And as strong as a horse till the years left him slower and gray
For a big man quick on his feet and a marvellous full back
One who often turned defence into attack.
Amongst the departed his last remains do lay
But the legend lives on of the great man today
In gaelic playing parks around Ireland he earned his Renown
And he became famous far from Millstreet Town.
The great Humphrey Kelleher his type are quite rare
In his prime years few with him could hope to compare
The Cork and Millstreet jersey with pride he did wear
But there was far more to the man than being a great football player.

by Francis Duggan


Cork footballer Kelleher dies

Cork football is mourning the loss of former great full back Humphrey Kelleher who has died, aged 59, after a short illness.

Kelleher won an All-Ireland senior medal in 1973 when Cork defeated Galway in the final, and he also won Munster medals in 1971 and again in ’74.

He was one of four Millstreet players on a Cork team captained by Billy Morgan in ’73. The others were John Coleman, Connie Hartnett and Dinny Long.

Cork manager Morgan paid tribute when he said: “I am shocked and saddened at the news. We go back a long time and had a special relationship.

“Humphrey, being the full back, always looked out for me in goal and he was as good a defender as I ever played with.

“He was a giant on the ’73 team and all of us who played that year have happy memories. Humphrey was a great full back, but very underrated.”

Kelleher, who worked for John A Wood Ltd, is survived by his wife May and daughters Elaine, Caroline and Monica.

from the Irish Times, 23rd Sept 2005

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