It saddens all of us to pay our last respects to Alan Kelly, an internationally renowned keeper who has helped us as an assistant coach the past two seasons. Alan lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. Even those who thought they knew him well are still staggered by his accomplishments in the sport. A brief summary of his career follows below:
Born in Dublin, Alan won an FAI Cup winners medal in 1957 with Drumcondra. From there, he moved to England to become the goalkeeper for Preston North End, where he played from 1961 until 1973, when a shoulder injury ended his playing career. He was Preston’s Player of the Year in 1967-68, and won a Third Division championship medal in 1970-71. He still holds the club record of 513 appearances over a 14 year period. When the Preston North End stadium, known as Deepdale, was reconstructed in 2001, three of the stadium’s four sections were named after famous Preston players; one of the three named sections is the "Alan Kelly Town End." He also played for Ireland, winning the first of his 47 caps in a 1958 World Cup qualifier against England. In 1980 he managed the Irish national team, and from 1983 to 1985 returned to Preston as its manager. After moving to the US, Alan was the goalkeeper coach for DC United for five seasons from 1996 until his retirement 2001. At a friendly match in Ireland on February 6, 2008 between the Irish and Brazilian national teams, Alan was recognized in a halftime ceremony as a "Legend" of the game.