Dermot Keely was introduced to football at an early age as his late father Peter Keely played for Shelbourne while his brother Joe played with him on the same Home Farm FAI Cup winning side of 1975.
After two years there, he spent three years with St Patrick’s Athletic before moving to Dundalk where he won the domestic double in his first season and captained the Lillywhites to FAI Cup and League Cup in 1981.
Keely's time with Dundalk and then Glentoran saw him play in notable European Cup ties where they were narrowly beaten by Celtic and CSKA Sofia over two legs respectively.
As his career progressed he would combine playing with managing at UCD and Shamrock Rovers before he hung up his boots to concentrate solely on his off-the-field duties.
As a player, he would win five League of Ireland titles - four of those in a row with Shamrock Rovers - and five FAI Cups and he would only add to his haul as a manager, winning four more league crowns and two more cups across his spells at the helm of Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk, and Shelbourne.
Dermot’s son Alan also played in the League of Ireland but he sadly passed away suddenly in May 2021.