Loads about Lee

Photo: RTÉ

There has, understandably, been a significant amount of media coverage following Lee Keegan’s retirement announcement yesterday. It’s a testament to the esteem in which Lee is held that the prevailing narrative throughout all this coverage is one that extols the leadership qualities and never-say-die attitude that made Lee such a fans’ favourite, not just among Mayo people but for followers of Gaelic football everywhere.

Reading through the coverage is a bittersweet experience, knowing that we’ll never again see Lee line out in the Green and Red. It’s worth taking some time to pore over it, though, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide links to the best bits here.

Let’s start with one of Lee’s teammates, his half-back soulmate Colm Boyle. He penned a tribute to Lee in the Irish Mirror – that’s here.

Keith Higgins provided his thoughts on Lee to Jason Byrne in the Irish Sun – that’s here. Keith was also on RTÉ to speak about Lee and a piece on what he had to say there is here.

Fergal Boland spoke with Donnchadh Boyle in the Irish Independent about the “absolute freak” Lee was on the football pitch – here.

Other pieces worth reading include ones from Colm Keys in the Irish Independent (here), Malachy Clerkin in the Irish Times (here), Maurice Brosnan (here) and Kieran Shannon (here) in the Irish Examiner, Karl O’Kane in the Irish Mirror (here), Emma Duffy in The 42 (here), Patrick McCarry, giving a Dublin supporter’s perspective, in Sports Joe (here).

Sports Joe have also got a Lee Keegan quiz, which you can take here.

James Horan played tribute to Lee on Off the Ball yesterday evening (audio here), while Colm Boyle and Andy Moran were both on the same show this morning doing the same (here).

Speaking of audio, Rob recorded a super Mayo Podcast bonus episode for Patreon club members last night, where he was joined by Colm Boyle, Billy Joe Padden and Edwin McGreal to chat about Lee and his legacy as a Mayo footballer. That’s available for our club members here.

Finally, both Billy Joe and Ed have pieces about Lee in this week’s Mayo News, which is available today in paper and digital variants.

Now I think I’ll go off and have small weep for myself.

38 thoughts on “Loads about Lee

  1. Aww reading all of this I actually nearly cried. Such memories of lee giving it his all right through my twenties to my early 30s now.
    All my Dub mates couldnt stand it when I used to go in about how great he is but said they all knew it too!

    Think I will go and have weep too thanks again Lee for all the memories hopes & dreams!!

  2. Haven’t commented yet on here as I was feeling so down after the announcement. Not much need now either as everything possible has been said. I had convinced myself that he would give it another year, especially after that podcast. All I can say is best of luck Lee and thanks for so many great memories.

  3. When you read what zippy say about lee you have to sit up and take notice two great ones for sure but as Keith said lee was the best he ever played with let him
    Enjoy his club football now a great one

  4. @Nephin aww 🙁 I think you echo the whole of mayos feelings since the new broke but as Lee would say chin up better days will come and I will be cheering on from the sidelines!!

  5. I expect that Lee might very well be announced as one of the new Sunday Game analysts. A few jobs going after all. Michael Murphy another that might make that list. Two great players, that always delivered on the big day.

  6. When the dust settles on Leeroys retirement there needs to be a more general discussion across the game on the commitment level required as it appears to be unsustainable.

    It’s one thing for guys retiring who are in decline but to see guys like Michael Murphy and Lee Keegan retiring while still their respective teams best player shows there is something badly wrong with that picture.

    It’s a crying shame to be losing elite players to the game who still have loads to offer

  7. Supermac
    I think myself that commitment levels are only part of the reason that these guys are retiring. I think both are intelligent enough to realise that although they’re still good enough they will never again play at the peak of their powers, in fact their influence will diminish with every extra year they continue to play. It’s the same in all sports, however most sports people hang on and they’re game eventually peters out, sometimes with their legacy in tatters. Both have given everything for their county but neither want to be on the pitch putting in performances that, although are good enough, are not up to their massive standards. Two legends of the game.

    Agree with everything positive said and read about Lee the last few days. One comment from Dublin that stuck with me.
    Dublin supporters respected a few mayo players, not many. But the only one they feared was Lee Keegan.

  8. @supermac, I totally disagree with that point. One of the big reasons LK was so good was that he was willing to be incredibly committed. Players want to be the best they can be and that means high levels of commitment. So you either have high levels of commitment and high standards of football or you have lower levels of commitment with lower standards of football.

    Also, they are both near their mid 30s and even if they are still two of the best players on their respective teams, they have been playing for over 12 years at inter-county level and both will still continue to play club football.

  9. You can select one non All Ireland winning player outside of Mayo for your team who would it be?
    My personal strong preference would be Paul Barden Longford. This guy was on a Brian Fenton level. In pure attacking and scoring skills I’d rate him higher than any other midfielder ever. He was tremendous but obviously quite often was not surrounded with enough quality.
    One of the greatest ever inter county points was Barden weaving his way 60 yards forward through players and slotting a beaut.

  10. Paul Barden was one of those freakish talents, 2 footed, tall and good in the air, could score and almost quicker running with the ball than without it, think Seamus Moynihan always names him as his most difficult marking job.

    Mattie Forde was another freak, deceptively tall and strong, sublime finisher and impossible to know which was his better foot

  11. Commitment levels required are solely down to individual management teams

    I don’t think its a big issue tbh – in the days before Keegan’s retirement, two players the same age as him committed to this season.

    In professional sports your “9 to 5” is your chosen sport, in GAA your 9-5 is your actual job, while your chosen sport is then your 7-9 or whatever. when young kids are in the equation, which they are for many in Keegan’s age bracket, then that’s a huge amount of time to be away from family

    Declan Browne and Michael Meehan are other (inactive) outstanding players to never win an All Ireland

  12. Its good to get Lees decision and choice out of the way, especially for the lads targeting a starting spot,
    Everything moves on and we are very lucky to have so many great lads willing to be part of our team for 2023

  13. @jp id select Michael Meehan impossible not to like him even though he’s from Galway he was the real deal like Lee Keegan

  14. Meehan was crocked very early though, probably the last era of players not being minded at all and burned out. Won a Hogan Cup, Connacht Minor, Connacht U21 and All Ireland in 2002 at 18. Won a Sigerson while in first year with NUIG, county champ with Caltra, Connacht Club and Connacht Senior with Galway in 2003 at 19. All Ireland Club in 2004 at 20 and Connacht Senior, Connacht U21 and All Ireland in 2005 at 21.

  15. Hard to take this current retirement, here is a list of great players gone from the 2010 onwards era,
    Andy Moran
    Barry Moran
    Colm Boyle
    Keith Higgins
    Chris Barrett
    Donie Vaughan
    Alan Dillon

    I hope I haven’t left anybody out.
    How can anybody replace those bunch of guys.

    When we look back at the past 12 years it’s fair to say that it was a golden era, year after year of great entertainment.

  16. Okay, just steady on a bit as to which Mayo players were great or irreplaceable. It’s an uncommon level.

  17. Meehan was blighted by injury as was big Joe Bergin. A pity for Galway as Meehan was one of our best players in last 30 years.

  18. What I’m saying JP is that the players we have had including the guys I forgot to mention will probably not all come along together in the future, as others have stated it was a Golden era.

  19. Meehan was pretty much done at the top level in his mid 20’s due to that bad ankle injury he got against Sligo. Destroyed nearly all the cartilage between his ankle joints. Came back to play for Galway eventually but was never the same player again. Couldn’t even train properly let alone play at 100%. Always sad when a player is finished by injury. At least Leeroy maxed out until he was 33. Have no idea how Brehony left Meehan off his list. He was better than many of the players on it despite the relatively short career.

  20. Meehan was brilliant…..Before his County career he captained the last St Jarlaths senior team to win the Hogan Cup

  21. Not enough words to describe Lee. Simply one of the true greats of his generation nationally and the GOAT for Mayo. Of all of Lee’s sublime attributes what stood out most for me was he always look to do the simple thing first, the short 2 yard pass always protect possession.. Also as a man i loved his humility.
    In retirement he made a statement also putting family first…putting sport in its place. We can all learn from that when the excessive obsession about Mayo winning rises within us…
    His legend will grow with time..
    Have many long and happy days in retirement Lee….

  22. Agree it will take some time to have a team like our peak 2015-17 team. But, it’s possible.
    If one can really nail the Goalie, full bavk and midfield jerseys. Then a couple of strong scoring forwards has you right up with any team out there any year.
    The main thing is to regularly be producing scoring forwards. It’s the hardest type of player to produce.

  23. @the West is best. Michael Murphy has been signed up for gaa go for the season. Regarding outside players i always liked mattie forde

  24. Three certainties in life. Death, taxes and Martin Breheny making a pointless “list” to stir up some segment of the GAA supporter base with a a few banal, regurgitated cliches about whatever unfortunate topic he happens to hone in on this week.
    I see the headline states “ I have him as number 2….”
    We don’t care Martin.

  25. @michaelincork. Davy is going to fall in for some stellar rides over the next few weeks. Spare a thought for poor Jack Kennedy.
    Nothing on the horizon for Lee unfortunately as Mayo start out on the rebuilding process. He is leaving in good physical and mental shape.. Good for Lee, no more than he deserves.

  26. Regarding outside players, Declan Browne and Mattie Forde were top class playing for fringe counties, there are many but those 2 stand out for me. Conor McManus in a similar mode although he’s probably at retirement level now.
    Several spoke about Meehan, there was a pure classic QF or qualifier vs Kerry in a monsoon when Meehan one of the greatest individual performances I’ve ever seen from a player. He scored all sorts of points and couldn’t be marked by any defender in the country at that point in time.

  27. Shuffly deck
    Meehan never played particularly well against Mayo from what remember Dermot Geraghty from Shrule and Keith Higgins held him well down through the years.Not denying he was a great player, dont think we seen the best of him because of injury.He got a late goal in a Connacht final in 2009 to pull Galway back into a game before Peadar Gardiner got a winner.

  28. Look Lee was an outstanding player as everyone knows,but we don’t need anyone as good as him,all we need is for his replacement to be better than his opponent,if we manage to get fifteen players on the pitch better than their opponents then we will win matches,all the best to Lee and his family ,but we need to move forward

  29. @Achill75..No doubt that Michael Meehan was an outstanding player and worthy of being considered great as we’re his brothers, but his brothers won Sam.. Unlucky that the great Galway team that had won Sam Maguire twice had declined somewhat when Michael came along.. Very unlucky with injuries.. But from my perception as a Mayo fan and many is the time I seen when he was at his best, I taught that himself and another great Galway Player Padraic Joyce never dovetailed in the Maroon and White as well as they should have… For example if you remember how well Andy and Cillian dovetailed for Mayo circa 2016-2017 It was like they could read each others mind’s!

  30. We’ve a treat coming up shortly for podcast club members: Lee Keegan has just done his first interview since his retirement announcement with Mike for the podcast and this episode will be online soon for club members.

  31. When I see these lists of great players that have never won Sam, I am always surprised that Dermot Early is not in the top 5 or top 10. He was an outstanding player.

  32. Thank you Lee for all the great memories in Croke Park, Castlebar, Tralee Killarney, to mention but a few. One of the Best Footballers I have seen in the past 50 years. Would definitely make any team of the Century. A man who had all the skills & the heart of a lion. All Great players know when their time has come to hang up the boots. All genuine GAA followers will miss you greatly. Enjoy your retirement with your young family. Hopefully we will see you again as Manager in the future.

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