Celtic signing Johnny Kenny's class gesture appreciated by former school

By Euan Davidson

January 19, 2022

Celtic signing Johnny Kenny is not someone who’s going to forget his roots any time soon.

The Irishman, signed from Sligo Rovers in the League of Ireland, was a breakout star in 2021. He scored 11 goals for the Bit O’Red, and Celtic scouts in Ireland were suitably impressed.

According to one of his former school coaches though, he’s always been a down to earth type. And while the ability and talent was always there, his personality is what sets him apart. An alumnus of Coola PPS in County Sligo, Kenny had an education informed by sporting excellence.

Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Coola PPS U17s were recently in a Connacht schools soccer cup final [Ocean FM]. And even though Kenny was in Scotland, hammering out a deal with Celtic, the 18-year-old was one of the first to send his congratulations to Coola PPS after winning the big game.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Kenny’s former coach Kevin McCarthy highlighted the great gesture that the new Celtic signing made, despite his new-found obligations.

McCarthy said [Irish Independent]: “When Johnny was signing over in Celtic, on the day we played the Connacht final, the first two congratulatory messages we got afterwards were from Johnny Kenny and Johnny Kenny Senior.

“Even though he was over in Scotland sorting out his future he still remembered the school was playing in a Connacht final.”

Goals from Ciaran and Niall Kenny, Johnny’s younger brothers, sealed a 3-1 win for Coola over Seamount College [Ocean FM].

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New Celtic signing Johnny Kenny; the pride of Sligo

Of course, the links between Sligo and Celtic go as far back as the club’s very beginnings. Brother Walfrid was born in County Sligo, in the town of Ballymote.

Sean Fallon was also from Sligo [Irish Independent], and there’s a strong Celtic support base in the county. The links are vital to the history of the club.

Now, that’s not to put any pressure on Johnny Kenny, you understand. However, there are already very meaningful links there. It’ll mean a lot, to a lot of people, that Kenny will be wearing the Green and White of Celtic.

Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

As for this gesture to his old school? At 18 years of age, you could forgive anyone for becoming a big time Charlie once they’ve signed a professional contract at a club like Celtic. Nobody would really blame you, either; it’s a huge deal.

Kenny, though, seems different. And if he did have any pretension whatsoever, Ange Postecoglou’s chats with him wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes.

Hopefully, Kenny turns out to be an inspired signing, as he continues to do his home county proud.

Read more: How many seats Celtic will have for Tynecastle after Hearts ticket slash