IT WAS with sadness that Wexford Wanderers RFC learned of the passing of former club player Seamus Kelly last week. Seamus who played at out-half with Clongowes Wood College, Wexford Wanderers and Landsdowne.
He also holds the unique distinction of being Wexford's first Irish international rugby player, earning five caps for his country in the Five Nations Championship between 1954 and 1960.
Seamus first represented his country against Scotland in the Five Nations Championship at Ravenhill on the 27th February, 1954 in a game that Ireland won by 6-0. Two weeks later he scored a penalty for Ireland at Lansdowne Road in Ireland's 9-12 loss to Wales in a game in which he faced the renowned Welsh outhalf Cliff Morgan.
A third international appearance for Seamus followed almost a year after his first cap against Scotland on the 26th February 1955 against Scotland this time at Murrayfield where Ireland lost 12-3 with Seamus Kelly being the only Irish scorer on the day with a penalty.
The fixture was even more unique considering it was the first time two Wexford players took to the rugby field together for Ireland, with both men also earning their third international cap. William (Bill) Tector from Clonroche, appeared at full-back on the day, having earned his previous two caps earlier in the 1955 Five Nations Championship, against England and France at Lansdowne Road.
Seamus again faced Wales on the 12th March, 1960 earning his fourth cap and making his final appearance in an Irish jersey on home soil at Lansdowne Road in a close game Wales won by 9-10 in which he contributed two penalties (six points) along with Noel Murphy's try to become Ireland's only scorers on the day.
Seamus earned his final cap against France in Paris on the 9th April, 1960 in a game Ireland lost 23-6 playing alongside such famous Irish players as Tom Kiernan, Ronnie Dawson, Syd Millar, Noel Murphy and the late Gerry Culliton who sadly passed away in the last few days also.
All members of Wexford Wanderers RFC extend their sympathy to his wife Margaret, children Amanda, Patrick, Barry and Peter and the extended Kelly family at this time.