THEY are father and son. They are two of Cork soccer’s better-known characters who both answer to the name of Chalky. They are joined at the hip in numerous ways but none more so than their passion and love for Liverpool FC.
John and Raymond Murphy can’t wait to celebrate Liverpool winning the league for the first time in 30 years.
For them it will be a night of celebration probably at the dad’s house but that won’t dampen the celebrations.
Covid-19 will certainly not spoil that party and both father and son are in no doubt it will happen sooner rather than later.
“It will be unbelievable to see them lift the trophy, and although it’s desperate fans won't be there to celebrate with the team, after 30 years we don’t care where we will be,” said John.
“I’ll be at home with family and we will certainly celebrate this fantastic achievement.”
For Raymond, seeing the team he has supported since a kid, winning the title this year, will be a great occasion.
“My dad took me to Anfield as a nine-year-old in 1977 v Derby when Terry Mac (Dermott) scored.
“We had to queue for five hours to get in, but the buzz was unbelievable and that was when I fell in love with the club,” said Raymond.
“To see them win the league this year will be incredible. They’ve had an incredible period especially under Klopp and genuinely deserve the title.
“Since 1977, l’ve gone to about five games a season and have had some fantastic memories with the 2005 Champions League victory being my favourite however winning the league this year will be a memorable one no doubt.
“It was very disappointing to see the league disrupted, but if it was null and void it would have been devastating so we now look forward to the remainder of the season and when we lift the trophy, I know it will be a great occasion for everyone involved with the club.
“Thirty years has been way too long. To win the league this year will be fantastic, but people forget we won 18 others, but for the younger generation, it will be fantastic and great for us older fans also.
“It will definitely be a title that we will celebrate for a long time to come.”
Chalky senior has supported the club for over seven decades and remarkably has seen them play live almost 600 times.
Does he think this years team are up there with the best Liverpool has had?
“From an early age I was drawn to the name Liverpool. I supported them 71 years and although too many to count I reckon I went to almost 600 games. In my early days of travelling it wasn’t always easy, but always enjoyable and worth the trip.
“Our trip in those early days when flights were too expensive consisted of a Friday 5.30pm train to Dublin arrive 8.45, taxi to the ferry port where we departed and arrived in Liverpool 7am Saturday.
“A taxi into Lime Street for breakfast in the cafe and then head to Anfield. After the game, it was off to Punch and Judy’s for pints, taxi to the ferry, train from Dublin and arrive in Cork on Sunday. Unbelievable trips with great people.
“A special thanks to Damian O’Leary who has always looked after us for tickets. Over the years I travelled with many different people to games but most notably were the great Denis super Keane, Teddy Lynch, Abie Allen and my son Ray.
“My favourite memory was getting onto the pitch the night we won the league and hugging Sammy Lee.
“My favourite team would be Bob paisley’s 1978 team while my favourite player was King Kenny or Tommy Smith and I was privileged to have met both.”
Unsure of Jurgen Klopp’s managerial method’s at the early days, Raymond admits he wasn’t a huge fan of him, but was delighted to have been proved wrong.
“Klopp is unbelievable, does it his way, and he proved me wrong. At times l thought he was bang average in early days, but what he has done pulling it all together and getting everyone pulling one direction, is brilliant.”
For John, Klopp is up there amongst the best.
“Klopp is excellent. My thoughts are Shankley built the club, Paisley carrried on the success, and Klopp in my eyes is up there with them.”
They are avid fans but also huge supporters of local soccer. Both have been involved in various clubs but most notably at St Mary’s and Maymount and have achieved so much success over the years.
They now also have passed on their love of the game to the next generation of the family.
Ray’s son Cian is playing League of Ireland with Galway while son Eoin is with MSL side Rockmount.
His daughter Robyn, an avid Liverpool fan also plays with Wilton United. All are Liverpool fanatics and all hope to celebrate the title together.
“We will watch the final few games of the season at my dad’s house and it’s there I look forward to celebrate them lifting the title after an incredible 30 years.
“All my kids are true LFC supporters, they had no other choice really, laughs Ray.
“To win a title is great, this team now in two years have won the Champions League and the Premiership, and I have no doubt they will be challenging for a few years to come and hopefully they can put many trophies in the cabinet.”