Kempes Kelliher recognised for star turn in revived Town League

He wasn't nicknamed Kempes for nothing. And, like his nicknamesake, Maurice Kelliher this week received a Player of the Tournament in recognition of his skills on the ball.

That tournament might not have been the World Cup, but for the men of a certain vintage in town it was far more important than that.

For Kempes Kelliher received the top recognition for his part in the revived Town League - held as a major fundraiser for the Boys' School in an event that brought old sporting rivalries back to life seemingly overnight.

And it was Kempes who was to prove a major force in the settling of old football scores, even if his side didn't emerge the overall victors of the May Bank Holiday tournament, which was the cornerstone of a weekend that also saw a host of other exciting events in support of Scoil Réalta na Maidine.

Kempes was presented with a specially-commissioned trophy at the AIB in Listowel (who were one of the main sponsors of the event) last week by school principal Bernie Sheehy.

"Maurice played for the Gleann team who were beaten by the Country in a very exciting final but such were his dazzling displays in all the games that Maurice,at 59 years of age, took the top individual prize!" branch manager Stephen Stack told The Kerryman.

The trophy was specially commissioned from Billy Enright in Ballylongford and very appropriately depicts a football boot at the moment of impact with a ball; Kempes' signature action.

At 59, Kempes was the oldest player of the tournament, but his play made little of the years as he notched up four points in the big final - sadly not enough to stave off the boys of the Country in their advance on the Gleann.

But the sporting excitement and drama made for a fantastic weekend all round with little doubt but that the old Town League will feature as the focus of another revival in the years to come.


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