Legendary former footballer to be honoured by Gaelic Players Association
This Saturday (31st August) on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final, one of Gaelic Football’s all-time greats will be celebrated in Croke Park with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gaelic Players Association (GPA).
Former Kerry footballer, John O’Keeffe, will receive the award at the seventh annual GPA Football Legends Lunch. The aim of this popular networking event is to honour football legends for their contribution to Gaelic Games and Irish society.
O’Keeffe was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team from 1969 until 1984. He was a highly talented midfielder, and one of the most stylish and accomplished full-backs in Gaelic football history. O’Keeffe won seven All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals and 12 Munster Championship medals. Other honours he won include seven National Football League medals and eight Railway Cup medals between Munster and the Combined Universities. He also won a Munster Junior Championship medal in 1969. He is among the leading recipients of GAA All Stars Awards, with five awards from 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979. He was also named the Texaco Footballer of the Year in 1975.
As one of football’s greatest full backs, John has a long list of achievements including: seven All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals; 12 Munster Championship medals; seven National Football League medals; eight Railway Cup medals, and five GAA All Stars Awards. He was also named the Texaco Footballer of the Year in 1975.
After retirement, John then went on to manage both Clare and Limerick at county level, and he was part of Kerry’s All-Ireland winning management team in 2000. He has also been a valued contributor for The Irish Times.
The Gaelic Players Association will honour John with the award to celebrate his long-standing career and contribution to football as a player, manager and champion.
Paul Flynn, CEO of the GPA, said:
“John O’Keeffe’s football career, as a player and manager, has had such a positive impact on so many players and we are thrilled to acknowledge his contribution to the game and Irish society. The Gaelic Players Association is truly honoured to present John with a GPA Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019.
“As well as honouring some of the greats of our games on their past achievements at these events, our ambition is to continue to grow the event, expand our ‘Alumni’ of former players, and enhance the level of support we can provide to former players if and when it’s needed.”
The GPA Football Legends Lunch will take place on Saturday, 31st August on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final. As well as presenting John O’Keeffe with a Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 2019 Lunch the GPA will recognise the achievements of five Football All-Ireland winners through the decades from 1969-2009 including Meath 1999 team, the Cork 1989 team and three Kerry teams of 2009, 1979 and 1969. While the GPA is honouring those five teams, it also invites all former inter-county Footballers to be present and enjoy the event.
For the past six years, the GPA has hosted the Annual GPA Legends Lunch (formerly known as the Former Players Lunch) on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final. The very first GPA Hurling Legends Lunch recently took place on the eve of the All-Ireland Hurling Final. Former Tipperary hurler, Tony Wall, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the GPA at that inaugural event.