Tim Kennelly

Tim Kennelly

Infobox GAA player
code= Football
sport = Gaelic football

name = Tim Kennelly
irish =
fullname =
placeofbirth = Listowel
countryofbirth = County Kerry
dob = birth date|1954|7|6
dod = death date and age|2005|12|6|1954|7|6
height =
nickname = The Horse
county = Kerry
province = Munster
club = Listowel Emmets
clposition = Half-back
clubs =
clyears =
clapps(points) =
clcounty =
clallireland =
counties = Kerry
icposition = Half-back
icyears = 1975-1984
icapps(points) =
icprovince = 9
icallireland = 5
allstars =
clupdate =
icupdate =

Tim Kennelly (6 July, 1954-6 December, 2005) is a former Irish sportsperson who played Gaelic football with Listowel Emmets and Kerry in the 1970s and 1980s.

Early & private life

Tim Kennelly was born in Listowel, County Kerry in 1954. He grew up on the family farm in Coolaclarig, an area that had a great tradition for Gaelic football. As a young boy Kennelly showed great skill as a footballer and his father had a great influence on Kennelly’s career.

Kennelly was a publican by profession. His sons Noel and Tadhg have also represented their native county in football with Tadhg now playing Australian rules football in the AFL with the Sydney Swans. Tim witnessed Tadhg play in the 2005 AFL premiership winning team in September 2005, the first Irishman to win an AFL premiership.

Playing career


Kennelly played his club football with his local Listowel Emmets club. He won numerous under-age League and Championship medals before making his way onto the senior team. 1972 was a very successful year for Kennelly and his club. That year he won a North Kerry Championship medal, a North Kerry League medal as well as a Kerry JFC title with Listowel. Kennelly won another North Kerry title with the club in 1976 as well as a North Kerry League title in 1978. That same year he won a Kerry SFC title with Feale Rangers. He collected a second county title in 1980.


Kennelly’s skill was quickly spotted by the Kerry inter-county selectors and he soon joined the minor team. In 1973 he won his very first All-Ireland title with the under-21 team. Two years later in 1975 Kennelly had a very successful year as a player. He won a second All-Ireland title with the under-21 side, having already captured his first Munster Championship and All-Ireland medals at senior level, under the new management of the legendary Mick O'Dwyer.

In 1976 Kennelly won his second Munster title, however, Dublin gained revenge for the previous year by defeating Kerry in the All-Ireland final. 1977 was another frustrating year as Kerry won another Munster title but lost out to Dublin yet again, this time in a thrilling All-Ireland semi-final. By 1978 Kerry were ready for success. They easily won another Munster title and breezed into the All-Ireland final to face Dublin. The game itself is remembered for Mikey Sheehy’s cheeky goal which he scored by lobbing the ball over the head of Paddy Cullen. The final score was 5-11 to 0-9 and Kennelly had secured a second All-Ireland medal. In 1979 Kennelly was appointed captain of his native county. Kerry once again faced up to Dublin in the All-Ireland final. Like the previous year the men from the "Kingdom” had another emphatic victory over the "Dubs” and Kennelly claimed his third All-Ireland medal.

Victories for Kerry over Roscommon and Offaly in the All-Ireland finals of 1980 and 1981 respectively brought Kennelly’s All-Ireland medal tally up to five. In the 1980 Munster final Kennelly pulled off a unique achievement by scoring an "own point" against his own team for Cork. In 1982 he collected his eighth consecutive Munster Championship medal and the scene was set for Kerry to become the first team in the history of the game to win five All-Ireland football titles in-a-row. Once again, Kennelly’s side faced Offaly in the All-Ireland final. Kerry had the upper hand for much of the game and were leading by two points with two minutes left to be played. The game, however, was not over as Offaly substitute Séamus Darby, who had entered the game almost unnoticed, produced an amazing finish when he scored a late goal. Kerry failed to score again to level the match and Offaly went on to win only their third All-Ireland title ever.

In 1983 Kerry were denied a record-breaking ninth Munster title in-a-row by Cork. Kerry were down but not out, as they reclaimed the provincial title the following year. Kennelly was a selector as well as a player that year, however, following the Munster final victory he decided to retire from inter-county football. His other honours include two National Football Leagues in 1977 and 1982.

Tim Kennelly, who suffered from a heart condition, died on December 6, 2005.

External links

* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/afl/kennellys-champion-irish-dad-dies-after-being-there-for-tadhgsswans-fairytale/2005/12/07/1133829661245.html Sydney Morning Herald article]

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