Kerry All-Ireland winning goalkeeper retires

January 04, 2021

Kerry goalkeeper Brian Kelly celebrates with the Sam Maguire Cup in 2014. Β©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Kerry goalkeeper Brian Kelly has retired from inter-county football after representing the county for nine years between senior, U21 and minor levels.

The Killarney Legion clubman was between the posts when the Kingdom last claimed the All-Ireland senior football championship crown in 2014, having made his inter-county senior debut in the Munster semi-final against Clare that same year.

Kelly, who turns 31 later this month, also has seven Munster senior football championship medals and two Allianz football league titles to his name.

He won a Munster minor football championship medal with Kerry in 2008 and lined out for the county U21 team for three seasons before making a quick transition to the senior ranks in 2012.

In a statement issued through Kerry GAA, Kelly said: "The time is right for me to step away from Inter County football. I would like to acknowledge all the management and backroom teams, the County Board and Kerry Group for their support over the last 9 years."

"As a teenager growing up in Killarney I sold match programmes on Munster final days and dreamed of one day climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift Sam Maguire. Thankfully I have lived out my dream and I am proud to have played my small part in the Kerry GAA history books.

"This would not have been possible without the help of my teammates, family, friends, girlfriend, my club Killarney Legion and my Employer O’Carroll Engineering. I am especially grateful for your guidance and encouragement down through the years.

"A final thank you to the Kerry fans for their unwavering support, I look forward to cheering on the team with you in 2021."

County board chairman Tim Murphy also made a statement, paying tribute to "one of Kerry’s best goalkeeping exponents of the modern era."

"Today sees the retirement of Brian Kelly – one of Kerry’s best goalkeeping exponents of the modern era," Murphy said.

"The Legion clubman began his inter-county career as a minor and quickly progressed through to the senior ranks.

"Brian was an integral part of the last senior football All-Ireland winning team culminating in the All-Ireland final win over Donegal in 2014.

"Over recent years Brian has provided great leadership for his team mates and helped to successfully integrate the many new players onto the panel.

"On behalf of all Kerry people at home and abroad I wish Brian all the very best in the future."

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