Friday, January 5th, 2018
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death this morning of former Tipperary hurler Michael ‘Mick’ Murphy following a short period of illness, regrettably in the same week as his former Thurles Sarsfields colleague and namesake Michael Murphy, Kilmaley.
The former Tipperary All-Ireland winning captain Mick Murphy was born in 1940, a stylish half back who was to see his promising career brought to a premature end late in 1964 when he damaged his knee in a club game.
Mick first came to attention when hurling for Thurles C.B.S. where he won Dean Ryan and Croke Cup medals. He would later win All-Ireland Minor Hurling medals in 1956 and ’57 with Tipperary as his inter-county hurling career started to take off. He captained the ’58 Tipp minor side but their campaign was brought to an abrupt end by Limerick.
Senior ranks beckoned and in 1960 Mick made his Tipperary senior debut and that year collected his first senior honour when winning an Oireachtas medal, to which he further added to in ’61 and ’63.
His championship debut came in 1963 after being on the extended panel in previous years. His star shone brightest in 1964 when he captained his county to All-Ireland success in September and also winning a National Hurling League title that same year.
It was then that injury struck and despite his determination to overcome it, he was left with no option other than to call time on what would undoubtedly have been a stellar career for Tipperary and his club Thurles Sarsfields.
With his club Thurles Sarsfields at the height of a golden era, Mick won 8 Tipperary County Senior Hurling Medals – 1957, ’58, ’59, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’64 and ’65.
Mick always remained very involved in GAA and acted as a senior selector and coach with Thurles Sarsfields for many years following his retirement. Other clubs also benefited from his coaching skills. He was a member of Thurles Sarsfields committee for years and also served as club secretary for a period in the mid 1960’s.
Among a group of GAA stalwarts including the late Pat Stakelum, Mick was one of the founder members of Durlas Óg in 1979 and was vice-president of the club at the time of his passing.
Mick’s uncles, Flor and John Coffey of Boherlahan-Dualla, were also All-Ireland medallists with Tipperary; John is now the sole survivor from the 1945 team. Mick’s older brother, the late Noel Murphy was also an All-Ireland winner with Tipperary in 1958.
Tipperary County Board Chairman John Devane paid tribute to the late Mick Murphy on hearing of his passing – “Mick Murphy was a consummate gentleman with wonderful leadership skills which were rightly recognised very early in his career. At a time of great success for club and county, Mick could have decorated his career with many more honours only for it to be cut short through injury just as it was on the ascent. His love of the game never waned and he will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.
On behalf of Tipperary County Board I extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Bridget, sons Paul, Aidan and Michael, daughters Fiona and Ciara and the extended Murphy family, to his club Thurles Sarsfields and to Durlas Óg, on the sad passing of Mick.”
Funeral arrangements as follows;
Reposing at Egan’s Funeral Home, Dublin Road, Thurles on Sunday evening next, 7th January from 4pm to 7pm. Arriving at Bohernanave Church on Monday morning, 8th January at 9.15am for Funeral Mass at 10am. Burial after Mass in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
Family flowers only, donations if desired to Milford Care Centre.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.