Updated: April 6th, 2023

Jim McKeever RIP

Derry GAA are saddened to learn of the death of former Derry player, manager and county chairman, Jim McKeever.

A proud Derry and Ballymaguigan player, Jim was a modest yet iconic leader. 

Jim McKeever was a natural sportsman, representing Ulster with distinction in both Gaelic football and basketball. He was the inaugural Gaelic Footballer of the Year for 1958.

Whether as an educator or as a midfielder he led by example. Jim actively encouraged people to use their talents and be the best they could be. Any team with Jim McKeever in it was a better team.

Jim had a natural warmth and innate kindness which meant people gravitated towards him. He was affectionately known across Ireland as Gentleman Jim. 

Jim McKeever with Eamonn Coleman and Tommy Diamond

When Jim spoke people listened because they appreciated he was a man of immense experience and integrity. 

Jim’s life was one of service to others. Jim realised whether in his club, community or county he was part of something bigger as part of the GAA.

Jim McKeever was a once in a generation figure and has left an indelible mark on the history of Derry GAA.

Derry GAA Chairman John Keenan commented:

Jim McKeever was an affable man and a leader. It’s an honour to walk in his footsteps.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.

Lagan Cup winners 1958
The Inaugural Texaco Footballer of the Year 1958
Jim McKeever with Gerry Fitzmaurice