Caoimhin Kelleher joins famous group of Irishmen to have won the Champions League after victory with Liverpool
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Caoimhin Kelleher joins famous group of Irishmen to have won the Champions League after victory with Liverpool

ROY KEANE, Dennis Irwin, Mark Lawrenson ... Caoimhin Kelleher.

Corkman Caoimhin Kelleher joined a prestigious group last night, becoming just the twelfth Irishman to lift the Champions League trophy after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper hasn’t featured for the Reds at all this season but was included in the squad for the final and collected a winner’s medal after goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi secured Liverpool their sixth European Cup win.

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With Allison Becker and Simon Mignolet in front of him in the pecking order, Kelleher would neve have expected to take any part in last night’s showpiece, but the experience will no doubt prove invaluable as he joins a very select group of Irish footballers who have got their hands on ‘Ol’ Big Ears’.

He becomes the first Irish winner in over a decade, with John O’Shea the last to win the competition in 2008 with Manchester United.

Before that, Steve Finnan lifted the trophy with Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005 while Roy Keane and Dennis Irwin were part of Man United’s treble winning side of 1999.

Mark Lawrenson, Michael Robinson and Ronnie Whelan were victorious with Liverpool back in 1984 and Steve Heighway picked up a trio of wins in 1970s.

Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne won it in 1968 with United while Charlie Gallagher was Ireland’s first winner with Celtic back in 1967.

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Illustrious company.

Kelleher joined Liverpool from Ring Mahon Rangers in 2015 and recently featured for the Ireland U17s at the U17 European Championships.