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Denis Kelleher

Name: Denis (Dennis) Kelleher
Born: 20 November 1918, Dungarvan, Munster
Died: November 2004
Position: Inside/Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 8 Amateur Caps / 4 Goals (1938-1950); Great Britain (1948).
Club Honours: (with Barnet) FA Amateur Cup Winner 1945/46, Runner-Up 1947/48; Athenian League Champion; London Senior Cup Winner.

Club Career:
FA Cup
(Athenian League)


During the Second World War Lieutenant Dennis Kelleher, R.N.V.R. was captured at Torbruk. In March 1944 he succeeded in escaping from a German Prisoner of War camp and on 25 March, just three days after arriving back in England, he returned to the football field for Barnet in a 2-1 win over Grays Athletic.

Kelleher was a successful goalscorer with Barnet from the late-1930s through to the early-1950s. He scored Barnet's decisive third in the 3-2 Amateur Cup Final win over Bishop Aukland in front of 53,832 people at Stamford Bridge in 1946 as the trophy was taken to Underhill for the first time. He appeared in another Amateur Cup Final at the same venue two years later, Leytonstone however finished 1-0 victors over Barnet. In his decade with Barnet, Kelleher also claimed winners medals in the Athenian League, London Senior Cup and Hertfordshire Senior Cup.

An Irish Amateur international, he marked his debut against Scotland in April 1938 with a goal in a 2-1 win. The following February he travelled to Belfast along with club-mate Jim McCarthy and the England team for his second Amateur cap. In 1948 he was a member of the Great Britain team, managed by Matt Busby, that finished fourth at the London Olympics. That same year he resumed his Amateur international career after a seven-year War induced break. In February 1949, as captain, he scored in a 1-0 win over England at Carrow Road, Norwich. That December, again as captain, he led Ireland's fight-back from a 0-2 half-time deficit to defeat Scotland 5-2 at Pittodrie, Aberdeen.

Kelleher's Great Escape

Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
13-04-1938 Scotland H W 2-1 1 Goal
18-02-1939 England. H L 0-1
19-04-1939 Scotland A D 1-1
07-02-1948 England. H L 0-5
05-02-1949 England. A W 1-0 1 Goal
16-03-1949 Scotland H D 2-2 1 Goal
10-12-1949 Scotland A W 5-2 1 Goal
04-02-1950 England. H L 1-3

Summary: 8/4. Won 3, Drew 2, Lost 3.

Great Britain Appearances:
20-06-1948 Netherlands A L 1-2 FR
25-07-1948 France..... A W 3-2 FR 1 Goal 
31-07-1948 Netherlands N W 4-3 OG 1 Goal
05-08-1948 France..... N W 1-0 OG
11-08-1948 Yugoslavia. N L 1-3 OG
13-08-1948 Denmark.... N L 3-5 OG

Summary: 6/2. Won 3, Drew 0, Lost 3.