A large crowd gathered in Strand Rd last night to commemorate the passing of a man whose remarkable achievements on the field of play are unlikely to ever be surpassed. Danno Keeffe died 50 years ago this weekend and it was only fitting that his son Donal along with his extended family were present to recall and reminisce about his significant feats in a career spanning 18 seasons as Kerry senior goalkeeper. In welcoming everybody to the club, chairman Haulie Kerins gave a brief resume of Danno’s wonderful career which include:
- 7 All Ireland senior medals
- 14 Munster senior titles
- Played in 13 All Ireland finals
- Oldest player to win an All Ireland senior medal at 39 in 1946
- Goalkeeper on the Team of the Century ( 1984) and Team of the Millennium ( 2000)
- 2 Senior County Championship medals
Donal spoke about how his father played in his first All Ireland final in 1931 against Kildare and the consternation his selection caused at the time – nobody need have worried as Kerry went on to defeat Kildare by 1-11 to 0-08 – it is fair to say that a legend was born that day given his subsequent exploits over the ensuing years; Danno was recalled as having an excellent football brain, coolness under pressure with outstanding reflexes – no surprise then that of his 7 winning medals he kept a clean sheet in 3 finals whilst only conceding 6 goals overall.
On the day that Danno captured his seventh senior medal ( 1946) Donal was the Kerry team mascot, captured on camera and included in our commemorative booklet; uniquely Danno’s last senior final was the infamous final played against Cavan in the Polo Grounds in New York in 1947.
He played with and against some of the greatest players in gaelic football – men such as Miko Doyle, Joe Keohane, Con Brosnan, Bill Dillon – the list is endless and with club mates like Dan Spring, Charlie O’Sullivan, Paddy Kennedy & Charlie Kerins.
It was a night of pure Strand Rd & Kerry GAA nostalgia, fittingly remembered with the dedication of a corner of the club house to be known as ” Danno’s Corner”and adorned with some memorabilia from a remarkable career with Strand Rd and Kerry.