Thursday 8 December 2016

Billy Keane: The happy warrior who played it hard and fair

Published 06/10/2010 | 05:00

Moss Keane watching his old rugby club Lansdowne in action in an all-Ireland league match at Lansdowne Road
Moss Keane watching his old rugby club Lansdowne in action in an all-Ireland league match at Lansdowne Road

Moss Keane died at home in Portarlington with those he loved most by his side. He had a peaceful send-off. If any man deserved to go softly it was that ferocious warrior Moss Keane, for he was the gentlest and kindest of men.

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I was lucky enough to spend nine months in his company when I helped with his autobiography. They were the happiest and funniest of times, just as these last few days have been the saddest.

I'd say he was dreading me writing this. When the cancer snuck up on him we did an interview, but he pulled it just before publication. Moss was right. The cancer was private but there was more to it than that. Moss didn't want to be seen to be elevating himself over anyone else. There were thousands out there in the same boat and Moss didn't feel any more important.

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