Alan Kelly Senior – Irish Soccer Manager
Alan Kelly Snr
In April 1980 Alan Kelly Snr became the manager of the Republic of Ireland football team following the resignation of John Giles just one match into the 1982 World Cup qualifiers. Kelly who had been the Irish international goalkeeper was the caretaker manager of Preston North End at the time.
Kelly’s tenure as Irish manager lasted a for just a single friendly match after which the former international concluded that he could not hold down both positions. His resignation opened the way for the appointment of another former international, Eoin Hand, to the position of Irish team manager.
Alan Kelly Football Background
Alan Kelly Senior was born in Bray, County Wicklow on 5th July 1936. In Ireland he played for Bray Wanderers before he signed for Drumcondra in 1956. He won the League of Ireland title and the FAI Cup in the couple of seasons that he spent with Drums.
In 1958 Alan Kelly signed for Preston North End who played in the top flight division in England at the time. Kelly Snr went on to play for Preston until 1973 making 513 appearances, a club record. He was hugely popular at Deepdale and won the Official Supporters Club Player of the Year award in the first two years the award was made 1966-67 & 1967-68.
Preston N E named a stand at Deepdale after Alan Kelly.
Alan Kelly – International Career
Alan Kelly Senior made his debut for the Republic of Ireland on 25 November 1956 at Dalymount Park in a stunning 3-0 victory over World champions West Germany. Kelly was still playing for Drums at this stage and the team included seven League of Ireland players in total. He went on to earn 47 caps for Ireland and surprisingly, for such a good goalkeeper, he only kept four clean sheets. This was probably more often a reflection of the quality of the Irish teams that he played in during his international career. Alan Kelly’s last match for the Republic of Ireland was a 1-1 draw with Norway in Oslo on 6th June 1973.
Alan Kelly – Shoretst Term as a Republic of Ireland Manager
Due to his premature retirement from international football management Alan Kelly Snr took charge of the Irish senior team for just one match. Ireland beat Switzerland 2-0 in a friendly match at Lansdowne Road (now Aviva Stadium) on 30th April 1980. Goals from Don Givens and Gerry Daly secured the victory. The team for the match was:
Gerry Peyton – Fulham; Mark Lawrenson – Brighton & Hove Albion; Dave Langan – Derby County; Kevin Moran – Manchester United; Chris Hughton – Tottenham Hotspur; Gerry Daly – Derby County; Tony Grealish – Luton Town; Gary Waddock – QPR; Paul McGee – Preston North End; Don Givens – Birmingham City; Gerry Ryan – Brighton & Hove Albion.
As this was Alan Kelly’s only match as the manager of the Republic of Ireland he has the unique distinction of being the only Irish manager with a 100% win record.
Alan Kelly’ Record as Irish Manager
Republic of Ireland Football Managers – Irish Manager’s Records
Mick Meagan – Liam Tuohy – Sean Thomas – John Giles – Alan Kelly Snr – Eoin Hand – Jack Charlton
Irish Football Players
John Aldridge – George Best – Packie Bonner – Liam Brady – Shay Brennan – Noel Cantwell – Johnny Carey