Hall of Fame
The legends and the greats of Killarney Legion
The Lyne Family
Six brothers of the Lyne family played for the club.
Fr. Mikey: Was the eldest and won all Ireland medals at Senior, Minor and Junior levels. He served most of his priestly ministry in Scotland and was for many years PP of Parkhead in Glasgow.
Donie: Played with the Legion only and served them very well.
Teddy: Also played with the club only and had a reputation of settling arguments on the field of play before they even started.
Tom: Unfortunately was called to his reward while only in his early twenties. He was in the middle of what would have been a brilliant and successful career. This was a very sad blow for his family and friends alike.
Denny: His secure fielding and lengthy clearances made up for his lack of inches. Selected as a corner forward in the all Ireland final of 1944, he reverted to corner back in the 1946 and 1947 finals. The fact that the 1947 final was played in New York brought its own glamour to the game. The game was played at the Polo grounds in New York on Sunday the 14th of September. This came about on the insistence of Canon M Hamilton who was the representative of the New York board and Clare Co. board, on the central council. Canon Hamilton made an elegant plea to the delegates to ” remember the exiles in this the centenary year of black 1947 “ (famine)`. His appeal carried the day Legion had four players involved. Denny was joined by his brother Jackie, and the two O’ Sullivan brothers, Teddy and Gerald from Ballycasheen. On the day Kerry had no luck losing to Cavan by 2-11 to 2-7; instead of Denny Lyne returning home to Cleeney with the Sam Maguire, it was instead taken back to Derroes, Killeshandra by John Joe O’Reilly.
Jackie: was the best known and most versatile footballer of the family. Winning all Ireland medals both as a back and forward. In a career which spanned over twenty years, he won almost all available honours with Kerry. In addition he also trained Kerry to all Ireland success in the double years 1969 and 1970. In his time Jackie was an inter-County referee of note.
Con: was the youngest and seventh brother. Con never played football. On days when the Legion were defeated, it was said that his brothers were always late going home. They maintained on such occasions , that he knew more about football than the whole lot of them put together.
The football story of the family does not end there, their sister Maura married Tom Spillane who played for the club and county. Their sons Pat, Mike and Tom won a total of 19 All-Ireland medals between them, from 1975 to 1986 inclusive. Denny’s sons have played for the club down the years and are still involved, as some of their own sons are making their mark at underage level. Rarely has a family served a club as well as the Lyne family has served the Legion.1945 and 1946 are the only years the club has played in County finals to date. However, since then, numerous players in all grades have won medals as part of winning Killarney and East Kerry sides.
Johnny Culloty holds aloft the Sam Mcguire Cup in 1969 after defeating Offaly in the Senior All-Ireland Final.
In 1969 Johnny Culloty brought the Sam Maguire cup back to the club and county. Kerry defeated Offaly in the final 0-10 to 0-7,thus becoming the first Sam Maguire winning captain from East Kerry. Between hurling and football Johnny had a long and distinguished career, beginning as a fourteen year old playing in goal for the Kerry minor hurling team. Johnny preferred hurling to football and regrets that Kerry were never good enough to win a senior hurling title. Johnny was an all-rounder, excelling on the basketball court and was fairly handy with a golf club also.
Johnny’s list of achievements in club competitions reads as follows-
- Four senior football championships
- Two Munster club senior championship medals (both won with East Kerry)
- One County senior hurling championship medal
- Three County minor hurling championship medals
- Four County intermediate hurling championship medals, ( all won with Killarney.
At the inter County level-
- Five all Ireland senior football medals in 1955, 1959, 1962, 1969 and 1970
- Twelve Munster championship medals in 1955, 58, 59, 060, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69 and 70
- One junior all Ireland hurling medal in 1961
Five national league football medals in 1959,’61,’63,’69 0and ’71
- Four national league hurling division 2
- One junior football medal in 1954
In 1993 and 1994 our then club PRO Weeshie Fogarty brought more National honour to the club. In both years Weeshie won the McNamee award for the best club Pro in the County. Winning back to back McNamee awards is an honour never achieved before or since.
He is no stranger to success on the playing field winning-
- One junior All Ireland medal with Kerry
- Four County senior championship medals
- Two Munster senior club medals
- One All Ireland club medal with East Kerry
Weeshie was handy on the basketball court as well, having won an All Ireland senior medal with the County. He was also a founder member and player with his beloved Busby Babes. This man’s versatility doesn’t end there. He was the only player in the club to represent the club in minor, junior under 21′s and senior levels. He was also a distinguished referee. Refereeing to all Ireland semi-final level, however the powers that be, never rewarded him with the all Ireland final he deserved.
Weeshie has put the skills he honed in his years as legion Pro to good use. Working with our local radio station Kerry Radio as a presenter. He fronted the hugely popular and successful show Terrace Talk. On match days around the County and Country he was the voice behind the mike, doing match pundit work and sometimes games reporting. In addition he wrote a weekly column for one of our Killarney weekly printed publications.
The Murphy Brothers
Donie was one of the many brothers that played for the club including his brothers Freddie & Seamus who are also first cousins of the Lyne Family from Cleeney. He started his football in the Monastery School from there he moved to the “Sem”, he played a big part in St. Brendan’s Munster Cup victories of 1946 & 1947. He won an Inter-Provincial medal with Munster Colleges in 1947. He was selected on the Kerry Minor in 1946 and played a major part in the All-Ireland victory. John Joe Sheehan & Johnny O’Brien both members of the Legion Club were also on that team. In 1947 he again played minor football for Kerry and played with the Kerry Juniors in 1948 the same year that he won a Sigerson Cup Medal with U.C.G.
Donie was chosen in 1950 for the Kerry Seniors to play Louth in the All-Ireland Semi-Final, Kerry were defeated 1-7 to 0-8. In 1951 he played with Kerry again, that year they drew with Mayo, Kerry 1-5 Mayo 1-5 with Kerry beaten in the replay 2-4 to 1-5, he also played on the Munster Team beaten by Connaught in the 1951 Railway Cup Final. In 1953 Donie, he played left corner back on the Kerry team that beat Armagh in the All-Ireland Final. In 1954 All-Ireland Final he played on the Kerry Team beaten by Meath, in 1955 he was on the Kerry Team that won the Munster Final, but illness kept him out of the team for the remainder of the year. Donie also played for the combined universities in 1951 and was selected on the Ireland Team of 1955.
He won a County Champion Medal with Dick Fitzgerald’s Killarney Team in 1951 as The Legion had been beaten in an earlier round. He won East Kerry Minor Titles in 1946 & ‘47 and also a junior East Kerry medal in 1946 and Senior East Kerry in 1947 & 1953 and captained the team in 1954. Donie’s loyalty to the Legion Club will never be forgotten despite the heavy demand of Inter Co. Football, his exemplary sportsmanship and his modesty is an example to us all.