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Feature

Silkmen A-Z: Kieran Durkan

28 May 2019

We continue our look back at the Silkmen stars of yesteryear by featuring a popular member of Sammy McIlroy's 1998 promotion winning squad.

Kieran began his career playing youth football in Runcorn and Widnes before he was invited to train with both Crewe Alexandra and Manchester City. It was not long before he started to make a name for himself as one of the region's brightest prospects and he subsequently made the move to Wrexham in 1990.

The Welshmen recognised Durkan's natural ability and unquestionable prowess in front of goal, as he worked his way through the youth ranks at the Racecourse Ground before making his full professional debut for the club a year later.

Despite lacking experience, Kieran made up for this in abundance with an unrelenting desire to succeed. This led him to become a firm fans favourite with the Wrexham faithful and this was magnified following his majestic strike against Manchester United during the FA Cup Fourth Round tie back in 1994.

Durkan's strike is still fondly remembered by everyone at Wrexham - not just due to breathtaking nature of it, but also because it gave The Red Dragon's a memorable lead at Old Trafford.

After a series of stunning displays, Kieran was drafted in to the Republic of Ireland Under 21 side where he faced the likes of England and Austria in competitive matches.

Kieran went on to make fifty appearances for Wrexham, before making the move to Stockport County in February 1996 for a fee of £100,000.

Durkan experienced much success at Edgeley Park, as well as developing into one of the most feared wingers outside the Premier League. He played a pivotal role in County's glorious promotion winning side of 1997, as well as reaching the semi-final of the League Cup with our local rivals.

With The Silkmen on the verge of our second successive promotion under Sammy McIlroy, Kieran moved to the Moss Rose in March 1998 and helped the team secure second place in Nationwide League Division Three.

As a result, Macc went on to compete in the third tier of English football for the first time in our history and shared the division with the likes of Manchester City, Stoke City, Fulham and Burnley.

The step up in class did not faze Kieran, as he continued to dazzle us all with his electric pace and pinpoint crosses.

Arguably Kieran's most devastating performance in the hallowed Silkmen shirt came on 28th March 1999, when Sammy McIlroy's side made the short trip over to Lancashire to face the illustrious Burnley.

Despite the fact that Macc would ultimately suffer a 4 - 3 defeat that day, Kieran's performance will forever be remembered as one of the standout showings of that historic season.

Not only did he score two fine goals, he also terrorised the home defence from start to finish and The Clarets literally had no answer to his breathtaking bursts through their ranks.

Kieran went on to make to make well over one hundred appearances for The Silkmen and is not only remembered for his exploits on the pitch, but also for his warmth and genuine nature off it.

The likeable forward made every effort to engage with fans during his time at the Moss Rose and this adhered him to the Silkmen faithful in ways which will live on forever.

Kieran would ultimately depart the club in the summer of 2001, when he made the move to Rochdale. There he would go on to make thirty appearances for the Lancashire outfit - scoring on one occasion.

Durkan would then sign for Swansea City, who at the time were masterminding their way from the basement division to the Premier League. He made twenty-one appearances for The Swans - again finding the back of the net on one occasion.

Leaving the Vetch Field in 2004, Kieran then turned out for Caernarfon and Cefn Druids before announcing his retirement from the game in 2005.

Kieran then became a PCSO in the Widnes area, whilst also nurturing his love of the game through coaching youngsters in the area.

On February 28th 2018, Kieran was tragically found unresponsive in his car which was parked within a secluded car park. Shortly after, he was pronounced dead and a Coroner has recently concluded based on the balance of probabilities that he took his own life.

There was no reported history of mental illness, with no outward signs that Kieran was suffering to such a degree in silence.

The news of his passing devastated the football community and undoubtedly exemplifies the importance of reaching out in times of despair. Kieran was a talented and exciting footballer but infinitely more important than that, he was a well respected and loving man who has left his own cherished impressions on so many people.


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