By Offaly GAA
The Offaly GAA community is mourning the death of legendary footballer Kevin Kilmurray, a winner of two All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, and two All-Star awards, among many other accolades during an illustrious career.
Offaly County Board Chairman, Michael Duignan was a personal friend of Mr Kilmurray and described him as “an influential and creative centre half forward on the history-making Offaly football teams of 1971 and 1972. He was one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the best Offaly footballers of all time.”
Mr Duignan added that “Kevin epitomised all the best qualities that are associated with Offaly GAA. After an outstanding playing career, he remained a passionate supporter of all Offaly teams and, of course, managed the senior team in 2005 and 2006.”
Expressing sympathy to Mr Kilmurray’s family, relatives and wide circle of friends on behalf of Offaly GAA County Board, Mr Duignan said he would always be remembered fondly in Offaly and further afield.
Kevin Kilmurray made 85 senior appearances for Offaly between League and Championship, making his debut in 1969 and not retiring until early in 1982.
In his first season, Kevin featured as a substitute in five games as Offaly reached the All-Ireland final, where they were defeated by Kerry.
By 1971, he was firmly established on the first 15, and played a key role as Offaly secured the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time ever. His form reached new heights the following year, as he formed part of an unstoppable half forward line, flanked by Sean Cooney and Tony McTague, all three of whom received All-Star Awards after Offaly retained Sam with a replay victory over Kerry.
In 1973, Kevin won another Leinster senior football medal but their three in a row All-Ireland ambitions were ended by Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. Nevertheless, he was selected as centre half forward on the All-Star team for the second year in a row.
As that great team from the early ‘70s began to break up, Kevin stayed on board and was crucial to the emergence of an outstanding new team under Eugene McGee. While he missed the 1976 and 1978 championship campaigns, he was generally an ever present throughout the 1970s, mostly in his favoured position at the fulcrum of the attack.
He displayed great leadership qualities as younger players established themselves on the team and, in particular, he had an outstanding game when winning his fifth Leinster senior football medal in 1980, with Offaly finally ending Dublin’s stranglehold on the province.
In addition, Kevin won a Leinster U-21 football medal in 1971 and three Grounds Tournament medal in 1971, ’72 and ’73. He won a Railway Cup medal with the Combined Universities in 1973 and also played in the Railway Cup for Leinster. He also won two Dublin, two Leinster Club and two All-Ireland Club senior football titles with UCD, as well as two Sigerson Cups. He had the unique distinction of winning a Dublin U-21 football title with UCD and Offaly U-21 with Daingean on the same day in 1971.
Kevin Kilmurray answered his county’s call in late 2004 when he became the county senior football manager and guided the Faithful County to a Leinster final appearance in 2006.
Although he lived most of his adult life in Dublin, where he coached teams in his local St Brigid’s GAA Club, Kevin always retained a strong interest in Offaly.
He was chosen as centre forward on the Offaly Football Team of the Millennium in 2000 and was inducted into the Offaly GAA Hall of Fame in 2018.
Once again, Offaly GAA wish to extend deepest sympathy to Mr Kilmurray’s family and friends and we are all saddened at the loss of a true legend.