Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Tributes to rugby 'legend' Keane

Moss Keane

Irish rugby hero Moss Keane has been remembered as a true sporting great after he died aged 62.

Tributes poured in for the Ireland, Munster and Lions star, from Currow in Co Kerry, who lost a lengthy fight with cancer.

Keane was capped 51 times for his country and was part of the famous Munster side that beat New Zealand at Thomond Park in 1978.

Mayor of Tralee Arthur Spring said Keane, also an accomplished GAA footballer, was a renowned adversary on the field and a gentleman off it.

"The word legend is often bandied about, but in the case of Moss it is a tribute that was well and truly deserved," he said.

Playing for Kerry's football squad up to under-21 level, and winning the Sigerson Cup while at college in University College Cork, Keane was regarded a latecomer to rugby.

But after his debut for Ireland in Paris in 1974, he went on to win 50 more caps during a 10-year career that also saw him play on the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 1977.

Lifelong friend and former All-Ireland Kerry footballer Jimmy Deenihan, now Fine Gael's sports spokesman, said it was a sad day for all involved in sport, particularly in Kerry.

"It is no exaggeration to say that Moss was one of the best-known Kerrymen of his generation and he retained a deep affection for Currow, where he was born," he said.

"I remember well the Munster Final of 1977 when the Kerry team of which I was a member beat Cork. He demonstrated his deep affection for his home county when he said, while on tour with the Lions, that the highlight of the tour was 'when I heard that Kerry beat Cork'."

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