Tony Murray gave a lifetime of service to his beloved Blackpool Celtic and still helps out when asked

Blackpool Celtic with a history spanning 60 years are indebted to people like Tony Murray for his Trojan efforts in keeping the team on the road.
Tony Murray gave a lifetime of service to his beloved Blackpool Celtic and still helps out when asked

Distinguished Service Award, Adrian O'Douoghue, Cork AUL presents, Tony Murray, with his award, also included is Jim Cashman, Heineken Ireland.

IN Cork football facilities are improving all the time with clubs, who not so long ago didn’t have two pennies to rub together, now the owners of some of the finest complexes in the province. 

However, not all can aspire to this grandeur and are still dependant on the generosity of community associations, councils, firms, schools and farmers for the few acres to play football. 

Clubs still exist who are a throwback to the fifties - one team outfits surviving only through the efforts of volunteers. 

Blackpool Celtic with a history spanning 60 years are indebted to people like Tony Murray for his Trojan efforts in keeping the team on the road.

Tony, by his own admission, was an ordinary player, one of thousands, who loved a game of football. His earliest memories are of lining out with short-lived neighbourhood team Model Celtic. 

When he began working in Sunbeam, he played with their Shipping League side and later-on began a lengthy association with Blackpool Celtic. With time to burn he became immersed with Blackpool and played his part by improving facilities for the players. 

 Distinguished Service Award, Adrian O'Donoghue, Cork AUL Tony Murray, with his award, also included are members of Tony's family.
Distinguished Service Award, Adrian O'Donoghue, Cork AUL Tony Murray, with his award, also included are members of Tony's family.

When Blackpool had to vacate that small pitch in Kilbarry they moved to Kilcully where Tony had a huge job in making that ground suitable for football. 

It looked a hopeless task, but Tony the ‘Knight in shining armour’ was up for the task. 

To his credit opposing teams and referees were full of admiration for what he achieved in a short time. 

Modest dressing rooms with showers were constructed and in the winter months Blackpool hospitality was shown at its best when hot soup, courtesy of Tony, provided warmth for all. 

Volunteers like Tony, though having only one team to look after, spend an inordinate amount of time undertaking menial tasks with little in way of support or appreciation for their efforts. Fortunately, Tony’s efforts are greatly appreciated.

Retirement has been put on the long finger as Tony, along with his sons Shaun and Bommer continue to be the heartbeat of the club. 

Bommer has been slowly absorbing his father’s manual match day preparation duties. 

Of course, Tony is never far away and assists with the administration side of the club. 

In recent years they have had their fair share of successes including promotion from Division 3 to the Premiership in successive seasons, a double under Conor Foley and back-to-back cup wins with Shaun as manager. 

So, they had a lot of celebrating to do which was good for their sponsors in the Blackpool Tavern. 

Tony is now approaching 40 years in administration and ground maintenance with Blackpool Celtic and you will still find him, hail, rain or snow, in Pophams Field on Sunday mornings cheering on the Celts. 

Volunteers are beginning to receive deserving acclaim and the AUL are delighted to add Tony’s name to those rewarded for Distinguished Service to Cork football.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more