independent

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Win extra special for Cooley Kickhams

Back to his roots. Robert Kearney playing for Cooley Kickhams against St Patrick's in the 2004 Lampost Construction Senior Football Championship Final in Pairc Clan na Gael.
Back to his roots. Robert Kearney playing for Cooley Kickhams against St Patrick's in the 2004 Lampost Construction Senior Football Championship Final in Pairc Clan na Gael.

Anne Campbell

There were extra special celebrations in Cooley after Ireland won the Grand Slam on Saturday - the star full-back Rob Kearney is a former Kickhams player.

The Irish victory over Wales was made all the sweeter by the peninsula's association with 22-yearold Kearney who played for the club from under 10s to senior level.

Kickhams' chairman, Adrian Sheelan, even sent Kearney a good luck text ahead of the Millennium Stadium clash, just like he does before every Ireland game the Cooley man in playing in.

Mr Sheelan said the club was particularly proud of its former player and were delighted with the historic win at the weekend.

Mr Sheelan said: 'Rob was always a great player for us and he was an integral part of the teams he was in. He played for Cooley Kickhams in the senior championship final against St Patrick's in 2004.

'He played for the club for many years before he took up a professional contract with Leinster.'

He described Kearney as 'a great all-round sportsman' who is great at golf and tennis, and played on the Louth Minor team in 2003 when he was just 16.

Mr Sheelan said there was no doubt an intercounty career beckoned for Kearney, who decided to play rugby full time instead. Mr Sheelan said it was great for the area that such a talented local sportsman has been feted on the world stage. He said: ' We are all delighted for him. Rob still comes home at the weekends and many of the lads in the club are still friends with him.

'He is a really nice person and it's absolutely fabulous that he has done so well.

'I still send him a text ahead of every game that he's involved in. Rob played really well on Saturday and throughout the Six Nations campaign. He is part of history now.' Mr Sheelan said the club was hopeful of having a celebration night to mark the former player's achievements. But he knows they may have to wait a while as Rob fulfils his Irish and Leinster rugby commitments.

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