MICKO, the living legend, is back in the spotlight.
Kerry County Council has paid tribute to the remarkable sporting achievements of former Kerry footballer and manager, Mick O’Dwyer, by hosting a civic reception in his honour at County Buildings.
Many members of the great Kerry teams of the past joined in at the reception which heard that his achievements in Gaelic games were unlikely ever to be surpassed.
Mayor of Kerry, Cllr John Sheahan, said that between 1954 and 1989, the man being honoured brought Kerry football on the most wonderful rollercoaster of a journey.
As player and then manager, Mick O’Dwyer won 12 All-Irelands, 11 National Leagues and 23 Munster titles.
“He was one of the greatest Kerry footballers ever and then, as manager, he nurtured the talents of some of the all-time great footballers. These are achievements that are unlikely ever to be surpassed in the future,” said Mayor Sheahan.
“When his long and successful playing career was complete, he trained the greatest team of all time. Anyone who follows the fortunes of the Kerry team will acknowledge the debt of gratitude that we owe to this great man for the immense pleasure he has given to us all,” he added.
O’Dwyer’s success outside of Kerry was also acknowledged, particularly his inter-county coaching roles with Kildare, Laois and Wicklow.
The proposer of the civic reception, Cllr Mike Kennelly, a brother of former Kerry captain, the late Tim Kennelly, said: “Mick O’Dwyer has time for everyone. Big or small, rich or poor, it makes no difference”.
He added: “The man is open and friendly. He is a talker but a listener too. Micko loves the company and the people seek him out wherever he goes”.
Cllr Kennelly presented Mick O’Dwyer with the Sam Maguire Cup which had been borrowed from Dublin for the day.
Council chief executive, Moira Murrell, congratulated the Waterville man on what he had achieved which she said had brought immense pleasure and enjoyment to so many people.
Speaking afterwards, the great Micko said it would be akin to a miracle if Kerry won the All-Ireland this year but, he added with a glint in his eye, in Kerry, anything is possible.
He said Eamonn Fitzmaurice is doing the right thing by giving youth its fling in the National League and the experience will stand to the young players.
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