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Kevin played in historic Emfa/Derry City game

by Jimmy Rhatigan

A TALENTED Derry City player who helped to make soccer history in Kilkenny has died suddenly.

Kevin McKeever made his debut for the Brandywell Club in Buckley Park when the Candystripes played their first game in the League of Ireland in October 1985.

Fittingly, perhaps, the game which also marked Emfa’s first ever game at top level, ended in a 1-1 draw, with Newpark man Jimmy Leahy scoring for the home side.

Kevin McKeever went on to a successful career with his local club. The tall midfielder made 92 appearances for Derry City and played in the 1994 FAI Cup Final in which Derry was beaten by Sligo Rovers.

A lifelong civil servant, Kevin remained a great favourite in the Derry club and also in his native city.

Before changing its name to Kilkenny City, Emfa won the League of Ireland Shield in 1987 and, under popular boss Alfie Hale, City went on to win the League’s First Division in 1996’97 season.

The Cats had 11 points to spare at the finish, ahead of Drogheda and Waterford United that finished second and third respectively.

The sympathy of all in soccer will go to the McKeever family on its great loss.

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