Great Lyne-Spillane GAA dynasty lives on

Pat Spillane: GAA legend

Killarney Legion GAA Club has paid tribute to Kerry GAA legend Pat Spillane who called time on his successful punditry career with RTÉ on the most fitting of days as Kerry celebrated their 38th All Ireland success in Croke Park.

Club PRO Enda Walshe said Pat captured the hearts of the nation with his emotional recollection of his father, Tom, who died at the age of 41, just days after Kerry’s defeat to Galway in the 1964 All-Ireland, at a time when he was a Kerry selector.

The late Tom was married to Maura Lyne of Cleeney and also played on the only Killarney Legion team to win a county championship in 1946.

Together, Tom and Maura raised three boys, Pat, Mick and Tom Jnr, who won 19 All-Ireland medals between them during Kerry’s famous golden years.

Jackie Lyne was a footballing great

The Lyne family has its own All-Ireland medal collection with Canon Michael Lyne winning two in 1937 and 1941, Jackie successful in 1946 and 1953 and Denny collecting a Celtic cross in 1946.

Denny was also the captain of the Kerry team in the famous final of 1947 against Cavan in the Polo Grounds in New York, the only final to be played outside Ireland.

Jackie later returned as trainer of the Kerry team and led them to All-Ireland success in 1969 – with a team captained by Legion’s Johnny Culloty – and again 1971.

More recently Denny’s grandson, Jonathan Lyne, added to the family medal board with Kerry’s 2014 success.

Jonathan’s cousins and Tom Snr’s grandsons, Killian and Adrian Spillane, helped turn the tide in Kerry’s direction in the 2022 edition and so consolidated the Spillane-Lyne name as a Kerry football dynasty.

Fittingly, last Sunday Adrian and Killian played starring roles for their club Templenoe as they shocked county champions Austin Stacks in the first round of the Kerry senior championship. The game played in Legion’s home ground in Direen so it might have had the feel of a second home to the Spillane brothers.

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