FC are sorry to learn of the passing of former player
Dennis Keating who made a single Football League appearance
for the club, against Bradford City, in the 1962/63
season. A tricky winger he retired from football at
an early age to join a religious order and was well
known in later years for his work as a priest in the
Catholic parishes of St Columba and St Theresa.
Born in Cork, Dennis initially joined
Chester as a part-time professional in June 1962 after
graduating from Manchester University. While at university
he had played for the Varsity team and was a member
of the English Athletic Union side that played against
Wales. He also represented Saltney Juniors and Bill
Lambton signed him as an inside right after he had impressed
in trial games played at the Stadium.
After initially playing for the A
team Dennis graduated to the reserves in the Cheshire
County League in September. After sparkling performances
on the left wing for the reserves, in particular against
Bangor City where he gave former Chester full back Bill
Souter a torrid afternoon, he was given the opportunity
to play against Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Cup.
Forming a youthful left wing partnership with hat-trick
hero Alan Pritchard he set up the first goal in a 3-2
victory and both players were promoted to first team
action against Bradford City. Once again Dennis impressed
with the Cheshire Observer reporting: “Keating
certainly has got plenty of heart, and though he was
bumped in occasions, he kept coming back for more, and
while he is doing the job like he will be difficult
He kept his place for the home FA
Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers the following week but
with left wing partner Pritchard dropped in favour of
the more experienced Bill Myerscough he struggled to
make an impression as Chester fell to a 2-0 defeat.
Only two weeks later Dennis was transferred to Wellington
Town saying that, as a teacher, he thought that non-league
football would suit him better. A quiet and studious
individual at Sealand Road he was not your typical 1960s
footballer and in turning to a life of religion he found
his true calling.
The club send out their condolences
to his family and friends.