The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees will be celebrating the life of David “DK” Kelly at our home game tomorrow evening.
“DK” was an equipment manager with the Bees in our Superleague era and despite arriving in Bracknell not knowing a single person he quickly became a hugely popular figure as his infectious personality soon saw him become a great friend to many.
Many a tale about “DK” could be told by the players and off ice officials with the club during this time and it was a sad day when David departed Bracknell.
“DK” went on to become the Head Equipment Manager for the Sea Dogs for a spell of 13 years, seeing the team win 3 Presidents Cups and a Memorial Trophy.
Sadness struck in 2014 when “DK” was diagnosed with cancer. His endless enthusiasm though saw him battle the disease and he set up “#TeamDK” creating Monkey Band-Aid which to this day is known around the world wide hockey community. “DK” set up a range of Monkey Band-Aid products and to this day these products are still on sale at https://teamdk.ca/ with profits being donated to the Saint John Regional Hospital Oncology Department’s Education Fund.
A statement issued by the family reads;
“With heavy hearts, the family of David “DK” Kelly announces his passing, which occurred at the Saint John Regional Hospital on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, surrounded by his family. David was born in Saint John on December 11, 1978 to Linda Kelly-Hurst and Joe Kelly. DK was the Sea Dogs Head Equipment Manager for 13 years, winning three President Cups and the Memorial Cup. Before retirement from his role as Head Equipment Manager in 2017, DK was the only Head Equipment Manager in Sea Dogs’ history, having worked 805 regular season games. In 2018 he joined the Sea Dogs front office as Senior Advisor to Hockey Operations, before leaving the organization shortly thereafter to pursue philanthropic initiatives.
Prior to his time with the Sea Dogs, DK spent time with the Waco Wizards (WPHL), Milano Vipers (Italy) and Bracknell Bees (British Super League). He began his career as a visiting team dressing room attendant with the AHL’s Saint John Flames, and was eventually promoted to Assistant Equipment Manager. He also worked extensively with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, DK made it his mission to take the disease head-on and inspire others worldwide. He was known across the hockey and sports world for his #TeamDK movement and his prominent Monkey Band-Aid Project, which raised over $25,000 for oncology nurses’ education funds.
David’s great loves besides his family were chicken Vito’s style, the Boston Red Sox, country music, cannolis from Mike’s Pastry, live concerts, travel, his truck, hockey schools, encouraging kids in hockey, Hometown Hockey with Ron and Tara, and spending all the time he could with his nephew, Jacob.
Celebrating his incredible life are his parents; Linda Kelly-Hurst (Bruce) and Joe Kelly (Carol), his partner, Dominique Leger, sister Jen Kelly-Barnett (Matt), nephew Jacob Barnett, his beloved dog, Legend, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and the rest of his cherished extended family.
DK was pre-deceased by his grandmothers; “Nan” Lillian Galbraith and Anna Kelly, grandfather Art Kelly, and his chosen grandfather, Tom Woods.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Saint John Regional Hospital ; Oncology, 3D South, Registration/Admitting, and Pharmacy; the Saint John Sea Dogs organization, Trevor Georgie, Scott McCain, the Boston Red Sox, the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, as well as all of his supporters worldwide.
Resting at Rivercross Church, 61 Forbes Drive, with visitation being held on Monday and Tuesday from 2-8 p.m. A service celebrating DK’s life will be held from the church on Wednesday, March 13th at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the David “DK” Kelly Memorial Bursary Fund (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-greater-saint-john-community-foundation/campaign/DK) would be appreciated. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road, Saint John.
“Forward is Forward“”
All at the Bees were saddened to hear of David’s passing and we’ll be asking everyone to join us in a minute’s applause ahead of tomorrow night’s game at the Hive.
Our thoughts are with David “DK” Kelly’s family and huge network of friends at this time.