North End great Kelly dies

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Football News

Former Ireland and Preston North End goalkeeper Alan Kelly Sr has died at the age of 72.

Capped 47 times by his country between 1958 and 1973, Kelly passed away on Wednesday following a long battle with illness.

Kelly made 513 appearances for Preston during 17 years at Deepdale. He also captained his country in a 1972 World Cup qualifier against the Soviet Union and managed the Irish side in a caretaker capacity against Switzerland in 1980.

He went on to manage the Lilywhites for a brief period during the mid-1980s before moving into coaching roles at Everton and in the United States.

Kelly's son Alan Jr is the current Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach and won 34 caps for the national side, while his eldest son Gary played for Newcastle, Bury and Oldham in a 20-year career.

Football Association of Ireland President David Blood paid tribute to Kelly Sr, describing him as "one of Ireland's greatest ever goalkeepers".

"Alan Kelly Sr was a former record caps holder and a great servant to Irish football," he said.

"He started his playing career in the League of Ireland before moving to Preston North End and became a legend at Deepdale, where the Town End was named in his honour in 2001.

"With the passing of Alan Kelly senior, we have lost one of Ireland's greatest ever goalkeepers."

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Preston North End
Oldham Athletic

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