CORK soccer lost one of its greatest servants when Munster Senior League president Tony Murphy passed away on Tuesday and was laid to rest today (Thursday).
Tony had given a lifetime of service to the game that he loved; as a player, as a manager, and as an administrator; first with his beloved Tramore Athletic and later he was involved in reforming Western Rovers who he managed at schoolboys and junior level.
He also led the Cork Schoolboys League to its first Kennedy Cup success in 1977.
In recent decades he is best remembered for his role within the Munster Senior League with which he had several roles in over 25 years of service, including treasurer, while he was also chairman from 2002 to 2012 and he was the league’s president at the time of his passing.
He represented the game in Cork on the committee of the Munster Football Association since 2003 and he also served on the FAI Domestic Committee.
Current Munster Senior League chairman John Finnegan paid tribute to Tony, acknowledging his contribution to the game in Cork and beyond.
“Tony was a fantastic soccer man, a great club man with Tramore, and he played a huge role in the Munster Senior League for over 25 years,” Finnegan said.
“I worked with him in the league for almost 20 years and I learned a lot from him. He was instrumental in the expansion of the league to where it is today.
“He will be sadly missed by all of us in the league.”
Tony’s love of the game began with Tramore Athletic, a club for which he played all of his football.
Tramore were one of the founding members of the Cork Schoolboys League and Tony was a part of the Tramore U14 team which brought the first trophy to the club in 1954; he once scored three goals in as many minutes in a schoolboy’s final in Togher.
He was also part of the Tramore youth team which won its first FAI Youth Cup in 1958 when they beat Johnville 2-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross.
He was on the club’s senior team which won its first trophy at that level, the Burkley Cup, in 1963 when they beat Crofton Celtic in the final.
In 1977 Tony managed the Cork Kennedy Cup team which qualified for the final of the national competition after defeating Kerry 4-1 in the semi-final.
Cork faced Dublin in the decider at Farranlea Road and after a 2-2 draw, Cork won 3-2 in extra-time.
During his time at Western Rovers he managed teams at schoolboys and junior level, leading them to Enterprise Cup and league success in 1984.
Tony had also served on Tramore Athletic’s committee once his playing days had ended and he played a big role in the club acquiring its own grounds in Tramore Park in Douglas.