ScoreBoardMemories.com Ireland.. Irish Home of All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery
Dublin's Famous Holder Of 15 All Ireland Senior Camogie Medals
Kathleen "Kay" Mills, born in 1923 and died in 1996. She was a former camogie superstar who played senior with Dublin from 1941 until 1961. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time, winning a record 15 All Ireland Senior Medals, that no other player in Camogie, hurling or football, has equaled in their sporting career.
When hurling was in its prime, names such as Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Jimmy Doyle, were on all hurling lips. In camogie ranks the Dublin camogie athlete was known in the four corners of Ireland and her record of fifteen All Ireland senior camogie medals is enshrined in sporting folklore.
Kathleen Mills was born in Inchicore, Dublin on October 8, 1923, of a Dublin mother and a Cork father. When she was just eighteen months old her mother died, leaving her to be raised by her maternal grandmother. From a very young age Mills showed a great interest in a wide range of sports.
She played table tennis and soccer, as well as doing gymnastics, but with Dublin the leading camogie county at that time in the All Ireland roll of honour, Kathleen’s first love in sport became camogie. Mills made her camogie debut with the Great Southern Railway club in Dublin in 1938 at the age of fourteen and was promoted to the clubs senior team for her second only match. Three years later in 1941 she made her debut for Dublin, while still just sweet sixteen and played in Dublin's unsuccessful All Ireland final against Cork. Just one year later she won her first All-Ireland medal after a replay against Cork in 1942.
In 1943 the same counties met in the All-Ireland final for the third year in-a-row. Once again Mills ended up claiming an All-Ireland medal, her goal from fifty yards range being described as the highlight of the match. In 1944, she won her third All-Ireland senior camogie medal and in 1945 and 1946, a famous dispute in the camogie association kept Dublin out of the All-Ireland championship, in spite of being Leinster champions in both years.
In 1948 Dublin were back on form and Mills captured a fourth All-Ireland medal but she took no part in the 1949 championship. However, the 1950s would bring much greater success to Mills. Between 1950 and 1955 inclusive, Mills captured six All-Ireland titles in-a-row. In 1956 they surrendered their crown to Antrim. Dublin came back again in 1957 to reclaim the title with Kathleen Mills to the forefront once again. In 1958 she was appointed captain of the Dublin camogie team. Inspired by Kathleen, Dublin defeated Tipperary to capture yet another All-Ireland title.
The success didn’t end there as she captured three more All-Ireland medals in 1959, 1960 and 1961. The occasion of the 1961 final was extra special, as it was Mills’s 38th birthday and her last outing in a Dublin jersey.
During her illustrious career, Mills was regarded and respected as one of the all-time camogie greats. In her retirement she continued to take a great interest in camogie affairs and she was in great demand for social events. As camogie's first superstar, she has often been described as a role model that inspired young girls all over Ireland and especially in her native Dublin, to play camogie.
With a famous record of 15 senior All-Ireland medals, Mills is the most decorated player in the history of gaelic games. Kathleen Mills died on August 11,1996. In 2010 the trophy for the annual inter-county junior All Ireland series was designated to her memory and future winners will treasure the famous trophy. Every year the winning captain of the All Ireland senior champions is presented with a special Kathleen Mills trophy.
The Dublin camogie icon is now incorporated into our www.scoreboardmemories.com All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.
Derry JF Doody