He was a fan’s favourite from the time he was about 16, he made his Laois senior debut when he was still minor, he was a star of the 2003 Leinster-winning team and was one of the best forwards the county ever produced.
Brian ‘Beano’ McDonald, now aged 38, was a bit of a magician on the field, a household name across the country who represented club, county, province and country.
At club level he played in three county finals with Arles-Killeen but had drifted away as a starter on the senior team in recent years, instead serving as a selector.
Last night he made his return – after having a hip operation just before Christmas – when he came off the bench at half-time of their final round Division 1B league game against neighbours Arles-Kilcruise.
And he did it style too, scoring 1-1 – the goal with the last kick of the game rescuing a draw for Killeen.
“Left foot into the top corner from about 18 yards out – as good as I have ever seen him score,” said one long-time observer.
Arles-Kilcruise were already assured of promotion and a league final place while Killeen were safe from relegation and out of the reckoning for one of the top two spots.
But it was still a typical derby between two of Laois’s biggest rivals, one that saw Kevin Meaney and Donie Brennan given straight red cards in the opening half.
Arles-Killeen led 0-7 to 1-2 at the break and although two second-half goals put Kilcruise, Beano’s brilliant late goal rescued a draw.
It finished Killeen 1-10 Kilcruise 2-7.
Kilcruise now have a final to look forward to against Ballyroan-Abbey next week while Killeen have a couple of weeks off before they Emo in the opening round of the championship. Kilcruise’s opening round is against Stradbally.