A Tribute to Mont Guiry from Kill GAA Club

A lot has been said over the past fortnight about the man, but from a Kill perspective there will never be another Monty Guiry.
Many more players will come and go but without fear of contradiction he was Kill’s greatest ever footballer.
With a record of having played in 10 senior football county finals (including replays) over three decades, plus a junior football final and three hurling county finals, not to mention numerous appearances for Waterford and Munster over a 10-year period, one can see how he was held in such high esteem by his club and county colleagues, and countless others he came across during his colourful sporting life.

Three-in-a-row: the Kill team, captained by Monty Guiry (with the Conway Cup) that won a third consecutive county senior football title in 1968.

Three-in-a-row: the Kill team, captained by Monty Guiry (with the Conway Cup) that won a third consecutive county senior football title in 1968.

It all started at a young age in the small confines of the Kill schoolyard under the tutelage of the remarkable Dan O’Brien, NT, with Dick Fitzgerald’s book ‘How to Play Gaelic Football’ a subject for all boys in those days. Monty embraced these lessons as he led our under-14s to county success in 1951 as captain. Seventeen years later he would crown his career as he once again captained Kill, this time to a three-in-a-row senior success against up-and-coming Tramore.
What set Monty apart from a Kill point of view was his longevity. We know about his skill, bravery, stamina and style, but remarkably, having first played for our club at adult level in the mid-’50s, he was still at it 31 years later — this time in junior hurling at his favourite venue, Fraher Field.
After two epic Eastern final games against the ‘new force’ in Waterford GAA, St Saviours, Modeligo stood in our way for county honours in 1986. With the clock ticking into injury time and Kill trailing by two points, a sideline ball came in from under the bank side. It somehow made its way across the square and there to “scoop it in” (in his own words) was Monty, winning the day for the green & white at the ripe old age of 48.

As young lads growing up, Monty was all our fathers’ idol and when the next generation came along we all looked up to him and all those other heroes from the ’60s. But Monty was the ‘Colm Cooper’, the ‘Diarmuid Connolly’, the man with the golden touch.
In our youth, his enduring energy belied his years. There was no better man than Monty to follow and play all sports. He fancied himself as a soccer player back in the day and donned the Swan United jersey on more than one occasion. He loved his bet on the horses and Cheltenham was the festival he always looked forward to most.
Pool was another game to which he applied his determination and will-to-win to great effect. Pitch and Putt on the Prom in Tramore led him to the bigger stage as he developed into a fine golfer in later years, with that famous citeóg swing that served the Clonmel, Gold Coast and Williamstown Clubs so well.
The game of cards was another of Monty’s favourite pastimes, looking foward to games on Saturday nights, and on Sundays after a match of course when his competitive instincts remained to the fore, as many in Kirwan’s Bar can attest to. Squash and badminton were also in his repertoire, not to mention pitch-and-toss in John Joe’s lane on many a summer evening. Monty really could turn his hand to anything — he was the ultimate all-rounder.

The respect he was held in stretched far and wide, and its measure was there for all to see at his wake and removal as clubs from inside and outside the county were represented; something that was much appreciated by his family and the Kill club. His remains left his nearby home and were met at the crossroads in Kill by a guard of honour, formed by former team-mates and members of other clubs, that led to the church gate. There his coffin was draped in the blue of Munster, the white of Waterford and of course that famous No.11 Kill jersey that he wore so often, and with such verve and pride.
On behalf of the Kill club we extend our sympathies to Monty’s daughter Leona, his partner Paula, brothers Terry, Ger and Tucker, sister Sheila, and all his relations.
May you rest in peace Monty and may your native Kill sod rest easily on your soul. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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