Friday’s Child - Richie Kelly

Sporting legend Richie Kelly pictured relaxing at his Kingsfort Park home this week. DER1115MC105
Sporting legend Richie Kelly pictured relaxing at his Kingsfort Park home this week. DER1115MC105

This week’s Friday’ Child is Richie Kelly, the former BBC Radio Foyle sports commentator who retired a few weeks ago.

Richie was born in Dublin and brought up in Co. Donegal but has lived for more than 30 years in Derry.

As a child he attended Altaghaderry National School in Killea and then St Columb’s College in Derry. Richie is married to Dolores and they have three daughters.

How would you describe yourself?

Easy going but hugely committed to what I’m doing.

Happiest childhood memory?

Racing down a snow-covered steep field in Killea with two or three of us on the one sleigh and not a thought as to how we were going to get stopped.

What was your first job?

Clerk in the now defunct Lough Swilly Transport Co.

Favourite book?

I haven’t got a favourite book but I read a lot: Ernest Hemingway, John Le Carre, Graham Greene, Stephen King, William Trevor and Agatha Christie are among my favourite writers. I also like biographies.

Favourite film? 

‘High Noon’

Favourite television programme?

‘The Last of the Summer Wine’

Favourite expression?

‘Keep cool’

Favourite method of relaxation?


Favourite holiday destination?


Who would you most like to meet?

The man or woman who hands over the Lottery cheque.

What makes you angry?

People who don’t keep their promises

What makes you happy?

Achieving what you set out to do

What human quality do you most admire?


What human quality do you least admire?


What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I once got nought in Maths in the Christmas term exams at St Columb’s College.

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life? 

The death of my parents. The world is never quite the same again.

What is your greatest fear?

I don’t like being in confined spaces.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

From a work perspective it was presenting the first live Radio Foyle programme (as I understand it) from Continental Europe: Derry City against Benfica in Lisbon. I wrote a book, ‘Sporting Greats of the North West’, which gave me a lot of satisfaction.

How would you like to be remembered?

As one who gave a little bit of service to his community

What is your most treasured possession?

My dear wife, Dolores and my wonderful daughters, Karen, Lisa and Joanne who have kept their father firmly grounded for many years.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it? 

I’d definitely share it with my family and there’s an old football team on the border which I was chairman of for around 20 years. I think they might get a few pennies as well.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

I haven’t a clue. I’m one of those guys who is pretty happy with his lot.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

Here lies a man who didn’t take himself too seriously.