Remembering Tommy Keane

Diarmuid Neachtain, Spiddal:

When I was 11 I was chosen as mascot for Galway United in Seamus McDonagh's first game in charge. The team met up before the game in a room upstairs in the Skeff, Eyre Square. I always remember Tommy making me a cup of tea and making sure I was enjoying the occasion. I was amazed that I had Tommy Keane making tea for me! He was up there with Maradona in our house, he was our Maradona that we could see every couple of weeks. My friends would all travel in to Terryland Park from Spiddal every fortnight to see him play.

Brian Hughes, Shrule:

On the pitch, Tommy Keane lit up many a dull Sunday afternoon on the Dyke road. His skill left opposition mesmerised. I always remember an overhead kick he scored in Terryland against Bohemians in December 1990. With his back to goal and Bohs defenders all around he somehow launched the ball into the top corner of Dermot O'Neill's net. Everyone remembers the 1991 cup run and how Tommy was on fire, scoring in every round before the final and delivering the perfect cross for Johnny Glynn's Lansdowne Road winner.

Julian Canny, Barna

I remember speaking to Tommy after he was guest of honour at a Galway United social a few years back. We were talking about those days in the late 1980s and early 90s. I was telling him how he was the main reason I wanted to go and see United play week in, week out. You could see a tear in his eye as he remembered those matches, you knew it meant a lot to him that he had represented his county. For me, the greatest ever Galway United player was Tommy Keane, an absolute legend.

Ronan Coleman, Newcastle:

Growing up, names like Tommy Keane, Eamonn Deacy, Gerry Mullen, Jimmy Nolan, Kevin Cassidy, and many others were legends of football in Galway. They competed against the best in the country and regularly came out on top. I was lucky enough to get to know Eamonn Deacy and Tommy Keane in later life. It is still difficult to believe that both have passed on. I last spoke to Tommy a few weeks ago in Shop Street - he wanted to know when we would be back in the League of Ireland. Tommy passed by Deacy Park most days as he went from his house on the Headford Road to his parents home in Corrib Park. It would be fitting for him to be remembered there at a Galway United League of Ireland match in the future.

Tommy Shields, Athenry:

I always had a close bond with Tommy Keane - both us came back to Galway at the same time. We travelled all over the country together to United matches. He was the most naturally gifted player to ever play for Galway United. I will always remember his goals against Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne, Limerick and St James Gate that got us to the FAI Cup Final. Tommy will be sadly missed, especially by Paula, Tommy Jnr and all of his family.

FAI President Paddy McCaul:

"Tommy Keane will always be remembered for the part he played in Galway United's FAI Cup win in 1991. He was a great player and news of his death has come as a great shock. On behalf of everybody in Irish football I would like to offer our sympathy to his partner, his son and the rest of his family and friends."

FAI chief executive John Delaney:

"The death of Tommy Keane comes after the passing of two other well known and popular figures in Galway football, Noel Crowley and Eamonn Deacy, earlier this year. Tommy had actually played in a tournament in memory of Noel Crowley yesterday and the thoughts of everybody, at this sad time, are with his family, friends and all those involved in Galway football."

National League Executive Committee chairman Eamonn Naughton

"As a Galway man I was extremely saddened to hear of the untimely death of Tommy Keane. He was one of the best players ever to emerge from Galway and his role in Galway United's 1991 FAI Cup final victory has ensured that he will never be forgotten by those involved in football. He and his family are in our prayers."

Airtricity League Director Fran Gavin:

"Tommy Keane gave great service to Galway United and was one of the best players of his generation. Everybody remembers the role he played in the 1991 FAI Cup victory where he scored in every round up to the final and then set up Johnny Glynn for the only goal of the final. News of his passing at such a young age has come as a great shock to everybody involved in the League and we send our heartfelt condolences to his partner, son, family and friends.



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