Paud O’Donoghue

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By Eddie Walsh (1997)

Paud O’Donoghue was one the most reliable and consistent defenders ever to play for Kerry. For well over a decade he gave great service to the county, the Shannon Rangers and Ballylongford, and had very few free Sundays.

Space will not permit us to recall his numerous victories at club level so we must be content to bring to mind his exploits in the green and gold. He won his first All-Ireland medal as a minor in 1962 when Kerry defeated Mayo in the final.

Promotion came rapidly for Paud and two years later he was on the senior team that faced Galway in the final, but Kery were unlucky to come up against the great Galway three-in-a-row team. The Connacht men defeated the Kingdom in the ’64 and ’65 finals.

There was solace for Paud though when he won an All-Ireland under 21 medal in ’64, the first year of the competition. Cork took over for a while in Munster then, but Kerry swept through to the final once more in ’68. Eamon O’Donoghue had now joined his brother Paud on the Kerry team. They came up against a superb Down team and lost a thrilling game by two points. However, the rewards they richly deserved were just around the corner.

Both men starred on the teams that beat Offaly in ’69 and Meath in ’70. This was the first 80-minute final. They continued to play top class football and were on the Kerry team that reached the final in ’72, but lost to Offaly after a replay.

Paud set a record in ’69 when he became the first footballer ever to win minor, under 21 and senior All-Irelands, but this feat was equaled by Cork men in ’73 and other players since.

However, the O’Donoghue’s have a record which still stands and is unlikely to ever be beaten; they are the only brothers to ever win 10 national league medals between them, a wonderful tribute to their dedication and commitment.

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