We extend the sympathy of St. Patricks GAA club to the Keane families of Barrack Street Fethard and Cappagh Cloneen on the recent death of Tom Keane RIP who had an illustrious football career with Annervale Rovers, St. Patricks, Tipperary and Munster.
In 1942 Tom lined out with Annervale Rovers in the South Minor Football final against Burncourt-Clogheen and in the South Senior football final against Fethard. Unfortunately victory eluded Tom and his colleagues in both finals.
In 1943 Tom and Annervale Rovers reached the final of the Tipperary Mens Cup only to suffer defeat at the hands of Clonmel Commercials. St. Patricks GAA club was founded in 1944 and Tom was to make his first major final appearance with the new club in 1944 when Ardfinnan defeated St Patricks to win what was a prestigious competition at the time the Tipperary Mens Cup.
His displays in those times were to bring him to the attention of the county football selectors and it was not long before he became a regular on the county senior football team and from 1948 to 1954 he was one of the outstanding defenders of his day at either full back, wing back or centre back.
Tom played in many places and counties including a Geraldine’s team in Dublin which included 15 Railway Cup Players among them the great Cavan captain John Joe O’Reilly. After a great game they were beaten by a point by a star studded St. Vincents team in the Dublin Co. Final.
He also lined out with the famous Lees in Cork with his great friend and sometimes foe the great Mick Cahill of Mullinahone. Some games are not documented including at least one in Kilkenny when he played for Coolagh against Railyard in Inistioge.
Tom reserved some of his greatest displays for his club and he contributed to many great successes in the late 40s and early 50s. St Patrick’s and Tom Keanes greatest hour of glory came in 1947 when they won South and County honours to bring home the Co senior football title back to Drangan and Cloneen a great achievement for a small club. They were to repeat that feat again in 1953.
Tom Keane also had the great honour to represent his province Munster from 1949 to 1952 and he was the proud holder of a Railway cup football medal won with Munster in 1949.
Tom Keane entered the South Tipperary football Hall of fame in the year 2000 when winning a Nationalist Award. Tipperary County Board honoured him in 2004 with a Laochra Sean Gael Award.
When Tom’s remains arrived in Cloneen they were met by a guard of honour of past and present players and the club chairman gave an oration at his grave.
Tom Keane a legendary figure
Whose name it will endure,
While Gaelic games are played,
By Slievenamon and Suir