|Date Of Birth:||1930|
|Place Of Birth:||Dublin|
|Date Of Death:||July-2013|
|Place Of Death:||Dublin|
|Debut:||23-Aug-66, City Cup, (h) Drogheda Utd., 2-0|
These were just a sample of the descriptions of Kevin Blount during a career that spanned 21 League of Irelands. What was not in doubt was the accolade of being the best goalkeeper of his era—eleven League of Ireland Inter-League appearances in the space of four years were testimony to his skills.
In addition, he was reserve with the Irish International team on five occasions. Strong, agile and just short of six feet, he was once described as ‘possessed of a danger-despising temperament’.
Starting his goal-keeping career with the 7th Battalion Army team as an 18-year-old, he later had a spell with Brooklyn in the Leinster League. A representative appearance against a team from Birkenhead—and saving three penalties in the game—was the prelude to signing with Shelbourne.
After a month with the Shel’s reserves, an injury to first team keeper Peter Keogh led to his promotion and he made his League of Ireland debut in January 1953 in a top of the league clash with Drumcondra, finishing 1-1. He retained his position between the posts when the Reds went on to win the League, collecting his first Championship medal after just a couple of months at senior level and nine first team League appearances.
After a couple of seasons with the Reds (28 League and Cup apps), and a while with Leinster League Botanic, he returned to League of Ireland action with Transport, where he spent a season before joining Longford Town in the Leinster League, helping the Midlanders to victory over Jacobs in the 1958 Metropolitan Cup final.
A single goal concession in the five cup ties was his contribution to the victory. His team mates in a memorable season for Longford fans included ex-Dundalk Sean McCarthy, Jackie Lyons and Matt Kenneally.
Rejoining Transport for the 1958-59 season, his outstanding performances with the League of Ireland’s perennial table-proppers earned his first League of Ireland cap in September 1958 and almost single-handedly he defied the Scottish League all-star strike force at Ibrox Park, going down by a single goal. In the 1960-61 season he added penalty taker to his goalkeeping duties and converted a couple. [2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers City Cup; 6-1 League win over Bohemians].
He had seven League caps before joining Cork Celtic, where he continued to receive League caps, adding four more, his last being at Celtic Park in October 1962 when the Scottish League selection overpowered the Irish with an 11-0 victory.
With Cork Celtic for the 1961-62 season, he won a City Cup medal but suffered the heartbreak of losing the League Championship to his old club Shelbourne in a play-off. The 1964 FAI Cup final was similarly lost, when Shamrock Rovers—winners of all the season’s trophies except the Top Four Cup—took the honours in a replay with an Eddie Bailham goal just four minutes from the final whistle.
The departure of Mick Millington from Cork Celtic to Dundalk in 1965 deprived Kevin of a travelling companion on the journeys from Dublin and he requested a move, playing little part in the 1965-66 season. He was aged 36 when he followed Mick to Dundalk for the 1966-67 year, sharing in the glory of victories under Alan Fox in the League, Shield and Top Four Cup, and with a team that is many Dundalk fan’s favourite for the club’s best ever team.
With just 19 goals conceded in the 22-game League—only 4 at home—Kevin’s ten clean sheets created the foundations for a memorable year. The following season promised similar rewards until the unexpected and acrimonious departure of player-manager Alan Fox in early March 1968, scuppering a promising League position.
Fox’s move to Limerick, beaten earlier by Dundalk in the FAI Cup in a controversial 1-0 Oriel Park fracas, led to serious repercussions before the month was over when Dundalk visited Limerick for an important League match. ‘Confrontational’ would be an understatement and matters finally boiled over when Blount ran the length of the field to confront Fox after yet another ‘dust up’.
The resulting Dundalk penalty in the dying minutes of the game, converted by Paddy Turner, simply stoked the crowd’s anger further. Mayhem followed the final whistle and Blount had to be smuggled out of the Markets Field, hidden in the kit hamper, to the screams of local supporters’ chants of ‘We want Blount’.
For his trouble, in August Blount was charged and found guilty of assaulting Fox and sentenced to a month’s imprisonment but in the following November he successfully appealed the sentence. Commenting on the evidence submitted during the appeal Judge Briain O’Barra noted that he was highly suspicious about the whole matter!
A lengthy suspension prevented Kevin from starting the following season and he missed the Fairs Cup game at Utrecht. In his absence Pat Lawless had settled into the custodian’s position and a shoulder injury coupled with the signing of Maurice Swan meant that by November 1968 Kevin’s eventful, entertaining and memorable Dundalk career had come to a close. He returned to Cork in December 1968, playing half dozen games with Hibernians [5 League; 1 FAI Cup.]
His next stint was at Richmond Park where he spent four seasons—from 1969-70 to 1972-73—leaving after a financial crisis in October 1972. During this spell he added a President’s Cup medal to his collection when St Pats, winning their first trophy in ten seasons, got the better of Bohemians in a replay in the company of his old Dundalk mates, Kevin Murray and Mick Millington.
He finished the 1972-73 season with Bluebell United in the Leinster Senior League and in the following year he got a distress call from Shelbourne after the October 1973 departure of Paddy Roche to Manchester United and fittingly he closed his League of Ireland career with the Reds, playing his last LOI game in April 1974 at Tolka Park, aged 44, over 21 years after he had made his League debut with the same club.
He continued for another couple of seasons to turn out in the Leinster League, adding CIE/Transport to his CV club list before calling it a day.
Always extremely fit, he became an active member of the Professional Footballers Golf Society. Playing to a handicap of 10, he held the course record at Slade Valley with a highly commendable 65. In 2004 he became the first non-Cork born person to be selected to receive the prestigious Cork Soccer Legend Award.
What They Said About Him
Tom O'Shea's Irish Press report of Dundalk's European Cup loss to Vasas of Budapest selected Blount for special mention..."Goalkeeper Blount hit his best form and on at least three occasions brought off impossible looking saves.
4 wins: League, Shield, Top Four Cup 1966-67: City Cup 1967-68.
5 Runners Up: League 1967-68; 2 Shield 1967-68 and 1968-69; City Cup 1966-67; Leinster Cup 1966-67.