Club mourns the death of former Chairman - Dessie Kelly

Published on 13 June 2024 at 17:32
Dessie Kelly - Letterkenny Rovers who dies on the 13th June 2024. RIP

The club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former Chairman Dessie Kelly.


He had only recently stepped down from the position at the club’s AGM in March having served as chairman for 25 years.


Dessie led the club with distinction over a long period of time. He worked exceptionally hard to always drive the club forward and he was a great football man respected by all.


Dessie dedicated so much of his life to the game and the club he loved. He was a founding member of  Letterkenny Rovers in 1962 and was a player, manager, groundsman, fundraiser and administrator. As a manager, he led the club to historic back to back Donegal League titles along with Liam Blake in the 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons.


He spent many long hours at Leckview Park, working tirelessly on maintaining pitches and improving facilities and was instrumental in the development of the new Astro turf pitch. He was committed and loyal to the club in so many ways and overseeing the weekly lotto draw and bingo on a Thursday night in the Station House Hotel was two of his favourite jobs.


Of course, Dessie’s association with the game extended far beyond our club. To many in the county, he was simply known as ‘Mr Football’. He was a titan of Donegal football. He served as a long-time secretary of the Donegal Junior League and the Ulster Senior League while he also held various roles in the Donegal Women’s League, the Donegal Youth League, the Donegal Schoolboys League and the Letterkenny & District Schoolboys League over many decades.


He was also secretary of the Ulster Football Association.


In 2022, Dessie was very proud to be awarded honorary life membership of the Football Association of Ireland.


An integral part of our club’s history, he was a valued friend to us all and he will be greatly missed.


In what proved to be the final match he attended, Dessie presented the senior team with the Brian McCormick Sports Cup at Diamond Park, Ballyare only last month. It was a fitting way for him to bow out.


Our sincere condolences to his wife Annette and all the Kelly family at this sad time.