By Junior Griffin
The Kerry Badminton Association officers met at the River Island Hotel, Castleisland on Tuesday night (April 24) last to launch a new perpetual cup which will be presented to the winners of the division 3 mixed doubles league competition and to honour the services that he has given to Kerry Badminton over many years.
This trophy will be known as the “Billy Lacey Perpetual Cup.” Mr. Lacey was in attendance for the occasion.
Tralee native but Castleisland Club member Billy Lacey first made his name as a player winning his first county title in 1989 which was the division 5 mens doubles title with Tom Palmer.
Over the next 20 years the winning of titles kept rolling in which included the div. 4 mixed doubles in 1990; the div 2 mens singles in 1994; the div 1 mixed doubles in 1998 with Helen Twomey which was followed by 2 division 1 mens doubles wins with partners Tom Bourke and Eric Nelligan in 2003 and 2008 respectively.
On the Munster front he won no less than 4 Munster junior titles over the years which included the singles crown in 2002 and, indeed, the following year he, with Tom Bourke ,were runners up in the Munster senior 2 mens doubles final.
That same year of 2003 saw Billy playing the pivotal role on the winning Kerry Brewster Cup team by winning the mens singles tie against Waterford which gave the Kingdom just a one point victory and , strange to relate, Mr. Lacey is now the current Brewster Cup team manager
However, it is truly in the coaching sphere that Billy Lacey has found his real talent . He qualified as a Badminton Ireland Level 2 coach and has now over many years devoted his time to coaching club players throughout the County.
But above all, he has found his niche when dealing with the County Kerry under age players and County juvenile teams and Thanks to the likes of Billy Lacey, the structure of Kerry Badminton seems to be on a solid foundation for many years to come . Long may he continue to do so.