Thursday 13 December 2018

Newmarket GAA remember a true legend of the club

Catherine Newman's Newmarket

It is with great regret and sadness that Newmarket GAA has learned of the death of one of its great former players John (Johnny Charlie) O'Keeffe of Scarteen.

In a tremendous playing career, in both codes, with Newmarket John won four Duhallow junior hurling medals in 1974/76 and 1979.

He played in eight finals losing out in 1972/73, 1980 and 1985. He won junior hurling medals in 1973/74, 1976/77 and 1983. In 1974 he was a member of the club's Duhallow Under 21 hurling championship winning side.

In football he won two examiner cup medals in 1978 and 1987. He played in the Newmarket side which lost to Knocknagree in the 1978 Duhallow junior football final.

John played intermediate football with newmarket in 1973/77 and captained the side in 1976 when they lost to Bandon in a replay.

One of his great games in intermediate football was in may 1974 against Bantry blues at Macroom when he gave a vintage display against Declan Barron and Donal hunt two cork seniors at that time.

John's partner at midfield that day 43 years ago was none other than Seanie Daly.

He also captained the 1974 Newmarket Under 21 football side which lost to Ballydesmond in Duhallow in the final.

He also played with Duhallow.

A player of outstanding strength and class John was a player who never gave up. In the 1980 Duhallow hurling final he scored a goal in second half from half back line which put Newmarket 10 points up against Meelin. Newmarket lost to their old rivals by 8 points.

Again in 1974 against Meelin in the Duhallow final he had a great game at left half back at Banteer

Many of his former team mates were glowing in their tributes to John, describing him as one of the greatest players to ever don the black and red.

John also served in the committee of the club and also ran a highly successful business Newmarket Builders' Providers at High Street.

John we remember you with great pride a great sports man. To your wife Noreen, son Tony, daughters Yvonne and Linda your sisters Noreen and Mary, grand children and your extended family we express our sincere sympathy. May this great newmarket man rest in peace. Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dílis.