Johnny Keeffe Is A Legend In Millstreet Town

1949 Cork Captain Johnny O'Keeffe shoots for goal in the 1949 All Ireland Semi Final
1949 Cork Captain Johnny O’Keeffe shoots for goal in the 1949 All Ireland Semi Final

To sing his praises how could one begin
He Captained Millstreet Gaelic Footballers to their greatest win
He never did leave Millstreet or Cork down
Johnny Keeffe is a legend in Millstreet Town.A man who never bragged about his fame
He only played because he loved the game
Never found to be wanting when put to the test
A gentleman as well as one of Millstreet’s best.

Johnny Keeffe is a man who lived his dream
The Captain of Millstreet’s County winning team
And what a game against St Vincent’s he did play
His legend living on with him today.

2010-09 Johnny O'Keeffe
2010-09 Johnny O’Keeffe

Yet so down to earth and untainted by conceit
We laud him as a hero of Millstreet
Not alone a great footballer but a good person in every way
The truth of him to you I only say.

The story of his life would be so great to read
Today as he always did by good example he does lead
These simple words to honour the renown
Of a living legend of old Millstreet Town.

The Millstreet Team that won the Cork County Senior Football Championship in 1948
The Millstreet Team that won the Cork County Senior Football Championship in 1948

3 thoughts on “Johnny Keeffe Is A Legend In Millstreet Town”

  1. The Cup comes to Millstreet

    Nineteen forty eight was the date of the year
    Our young football team on the field did appear
    They won from Dunmanway right down to Fermoy
    And the city of Cork they went out to defy
    On the banks of the Lee on an October day
    For the County Cup we went for to play

    Ten to one were the odds on that great City team
    Our men were too soft and our boys were toogreen
    With Den Connors midfield and the brave O’Keeffe brothers
    Those brave city lads would soon sigh for their mothers
    Still they put down the cash to humble our pride
    And send us home beaten to the Blackwater side

    Our team lost the wind to the toss of a coin
    So St. Vincent’s they planned for to lick us in time
    Then Munty tried hard for to stop the attack
    But the first point they scored put our nerves on the rack
    The play was resumed at the kick-out of the ball
    When Kelleher, Pound Hill, got a very bad fall

    John Joe Tangney, Dick Barrett, Byrne and Weir
    Shouts ‘toughen the game while the wind is from there’
    Then on to the field the sub Dennehy came
    Sub or no sub he played a fine game
    We went on defending till the half-whistle blew
    Then of points we were nil, but St. Vincent’s had two

    The restart of the play, oh what terrific speed
    Jim Manley he proved a true friend indeed
    Young Kelleher thought of sweet Minor Row
    And he scores a fine goal with the tip of his toe
    Then Cork’s ardent backers fell into despair
    While Millstreet’s supporters flung their hats in the air

    St. Vincent’s they rushed on their major attack
    But Dineen and O’Driscoll knew how to hit back
    Still they sent in the ball to the mouth of the goal
    Denis Manning with honours put his name on the ball
    With excitement the sidelines by now had gone mad
    They were betting their shirts and what money they had

    Five minutes to go with our team in the lead
    Our opponents displayed all their old keen breed
    They rushed and they fought in the air and the ground
    ‘Twas then Jerry Connor showed himself sound
    When at last came the whistle with a cheer for full time
    Old Millstreet were champions till 1949

    Then home by Macroom over many a mile
    All gay and light-hearted we wore a bright smile
    The bonfires were blazing in our dear native town
    And even old Claragh looked lovingly down
    By our priests and our people the welcome was great
    We have brought home the Cup for 1948

    By Jerry Doody, taken from A Millstreet Miscellany 3 (page 41) by the Aubane Historical Society

  2. A man amongst men back in his prime day
    In Gaelic Football for Cork and for Millstreet great games he did play
    Most of those he grew up with in eternal rest lay
    But Johnny Keeffe is a living sporting legend today

    In life there are happy times and times of woe
    Johnny grieved for his beloved wife Lena a few years ago
    She was his true soul mate as well as his wife
    Her passing to him a low point in his life

    His physical best years in time may be long gone
    But Johnny Keeffe and his legend in Millstreet live on
    Of years of life thus far he has lived quite a span
    And more than a great Gaelic Footballer he is a true gentleman

    Good memories a lifetime are ours to enjoy
    I saw Johnny Keeffe play Gaelic Football when i was a young boy
    He captained Cork in the red and Millstreet in green and gold
    The memories live on though great players grow old

    He was past his best years when i was quite young
    But surely his praises deserve to be sung
    Time does slow the best of them as they do say
    But Johnny Keeffe is a legend of Millstreet today.

    “Johnny Keeffe” is by Francis Duggan

    (added by mdc)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.