Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Caoimhin Kelleher joins a select band of Irishmen to celebrate Champions League glory

Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher trains at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the build-up to the Champions League final.
Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher trains at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the build-up to the Champions League final.

By Kevin Palmer

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher joined a list of great Irish names to have a collected a Champions League winners' medal in Madrid, after he looked on as the Reds claimed a sixth victory in the competition.

At the age of 20, Cork-born Kelleher now has the gold medal that confirms he has been part of a side that conquered Europe, even though he was a long way from getting onto the pitch for the Reds in their Champions League campaign.

With Allison Becker and Simon Mignolet ahead of Kelleher in Jurgen Klopp's pecking order, his trip to Madrid was all about adding to his banks of experience ahead of what he hopes will be a first team future at Anfield.

Yet already he has the biggest medal of them all in his back pocket, as the list of Irish names who have been part of European Cup winning teams had a new addition.

Roy Keane and Denis Irwin are prominent members of that list after they played a key role in Manchester United's Champions League wins in 1999, while John O'Shea can be added to the list after United's 2008 final win against Chelsea in Moscow.

Ireland international Mark Lawrenson, Michael Robinson and Ronnie Whelan were European Cup winners with Liverpool in 1984, while Steve Heighway was part of the Reds teams that won the trophy in 1977, 1978 and 1981.

Steve Finnan is also on the list as he started the 2005 Champions League final for Liverpool, even though he was off the field long before Liverpool's famous second half comeback.

Shay Brennan is also on the list of Irish winners after he was a part if Manchester United's iconic 1968 European Cup winning side, alongside compatriot Tony Dunne.

Now young Kelleher has a medal that he will cherish for the rest of his life, with the Champions League glory Liverpool secured with their win against Tottenham in Madrid giving him a night he will never forget.

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