Tuesday 28 February 2017

Kerry rocked by second footballer death

John O'Mahony

THE GAA and soccer communities in Co Kerry have been stunned by the sudden death of a second young footballer in the space of a fortnight.

Connor Spellman died at home at Ballycasheen, Killarney on Saturday after suffering a suspected brain haemorrhage.

The 29-year-old starred locally for Killarney Legion GAA and Killarney Celtic FC.

He died just a week after the funeral of fellow local sportsman Brendan O'Driscoll of Annascaul and Camp United.

Mr Spellman is from a very well-known Kerry family who have operated a successful sawmill business in Killarney for many years.

He and his wife, Michelle McCarthy, were married in Spain 14 months ago and they have an eight-year-old daughter, Holly.

Kerry GAA commentator Weeshie Fogarty, who trained Mr Spellman at Killarney Legion GAA club, described him as a brilliant young GAA and soccer star.

"He was one of the best under age players I have managed and trained," Mr Fogarty said.

"When he was playing under 14 with us, I was present at an East Kerry game and Connor scored 10 goals, all from play. I have never before or since seen this repeated," he added.

Killarney Celtic first team manager Karl McMahon said the death had shocked the whole town and saddened everyone in the club.

"He was a great player. He was the first to arrive at training every night and the last to leave and he was a great example to the younger players," Mr McMahon said.

The previous Saturday, Brendan O'Driscoll was laid to rest. He died after collapsing during a local championship game.

Irish Independent

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