Kerry legend Tomas O Se laments "a fierce loss for everybody" after death of Liam Kearns
TOMAS O Se has spoken of the shock he felt when he heard of the untimely sudden death of fellow Kerryman Liam Kearns on Sunday night.
O Se played under the late Liam Kearns when the Tralee native was manager of the Munster Railway Cup team and was in regular contact with him.
“I wouldn't say we were best buddies or anything like that, but I knew him on a sound level,” he said.
“I spoke to him before he took the Offaly job and always had great time for him.
“I had fierce respect for him for what he achieved with so-called weaker counties. His name was always bandied about Kerry anytime the job came up in Kerry.
“He was a great football man, he had a lovely way about him. Jesus, it's shocking, shocking when you're not expecting something like that to happen. Very sad, very sad altogether...”
Kearns guided unfancied Limerick to two Munster finals as manager and later inspired Tipperary to the 2016 All-Ireland semi-finals. O Se was expected to be named Offaly manager for this season but, after work commitments ruled him out, the Faithful County turned to Kearns.
“What he achieved, everybody would talk about what he achieved with Tipp and with Laois, but what he achieved with Limerick was phenomenal on the base that he came in,” said O Se.
“I don't think people realised where Limerick were when he actually came in. And I don't think people realised or saw the potential there. I saw it written yesterday that that Limerick team should have beaten us in the Gaelic Grounds that time and it was pure driven (by Liam). He had the ability to get the most out of players. Shocking, shocking for his family and for his close friends and for the GAA world.
“You'd have the utmost respect for him. I played under him in the Railway Cup as well. I spoke to him a good few times over the last three or four years and from a coaching point of view he had a fierce knowledge.
“The game has gone to such that you don't have selectors anymore, so you talk to fellas. He was very organised. And he'd have structures put in place and he used to rock into a club or county and he'd have every corner marked and he'd know exactly what he was doing. A fierce loss for everybody.”