THE ‘old’ Páirc Uí Chaoimh opened on June 6th, 1976 with a pair of challenge games, Cork taking on Kerry in football and Kilkenny in hurling.
Dr Con Murphy was present, a guest of the county board along with his mother Anna, and incredibly it was the last time he attended a Cork senior game as a spectator.
The next time the Cork hurlers played, against Tipperary in the Munster championship in Limerick, he was on the sideline as the team medic, having been drafted in by Jimmy Barry-Murphy, and when Billy Morgan heard that a ‘football man’ was the hurling doctor, he insisted that he become a dual-code operator.
The son of Patrick Aloysius ‘Weeshie’ Murphy, a native of Bere Island and an All-Ireland winner with Cork in 1945, Dr Con has also been a central figure in the fortunes of UCC GAA Club.
Only the true greats of GAA can be easily identified without a surname, but Dr Con is one of those.
His four decades of service have been noted with the awarding of the Cork Person of The Month for February.
‘I’m delighted Dr Con has won,’ said his friend, former Cork goalkeeper Ger Cunningham, ‘as will many players that sat in his surgery at the Mardyke or sat in his living room or received that handshake in a dressing room before and after a match and had the pleasure of his words of wisdom and warm friendship.’