SOME of Down GAA’s most famous faces lined the streets of Newry last Friday to bid farewell to 1968 hero John Murphy.
Members from the great teams of the ‘60s and ‘90s were present around Páirc Esler, as were people from his Newry Shamrocks club.
While the father of four’s funeral service was private due to the coronavirus situation, the funeral cortege stopped at the home of Down football, which is where the Shamrocks are also based out of.
John was of Down’s goalscorers in the 2-12 to 1-13 win over Kerry in ‘68 as the Mourne county were crowned kings of Ireland for a third time. He was also part of Pete McGrath’s management team for the ’91 and ’94 triumphs.
After his time with Down, the Newry Shamrocks man continued to manage and was involved with clubs like Mayobridge and Whitecross.
Although he was brought up on football, Newry Shamrocks’ run to the Ulster Junior Hurling final last November brought him much joy, especially as he got to see family lining out the green and white.
“Coiste Chontae an Dúin and the entire GAA community of Down are saddened to learn today of the death of one of our favourite sons, John Murphy,” Down GAA said.
“He was an All-Ireland winner as a player in 1968 and then Peter McGraths right hand man in the management team during the successes of 1991 and ’94.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to John’s wife Veronica, his daughters Niamh and Fiona, sons Gavin and Karl, his grandchildren and the entire Murphy and Sands family circles. We also extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the Gaels of Newry Shamrocks who have lost an outstanding servant of their club.
“Today the GAA world in Down is a poorer place with the loss of a man who gave outstanding service and commitment to his county on and off the field of play across five decades.”