Thursday, 25 January 2018 12:14

DAVY MURPHY (CORK): All Ireland SportsLife Hall Of Fame Inductee

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Corkman 28 Years On ScoreBoard Duty -


And Never Missed A Match


Tragic Motor Accident Changed Career Path Of Davy Murphy


In 1989 Blackrock man Davy Murphy became the official ScoreBoard Man at one of Cork's busiest GAA grounds, which is the headquarters of the divisional Cork board - Seandún, also known as the City Division GAA Board. The base is at Ballinlough, a soutside suburb of Cork City and it's almost a permanent home to Davy from March until October every year. In 28 years of loyal service as the ScoreBoard Man, a quick calculation would reveal that Davy has officiated at over 8,000 matches during his tenure and he's still going strong having just passed his 52nd birthday last November.

When the new season gets underway in 2018 Davy Murphy will be one of the first people to arrive at the Ballinlough venue for every single match played at the ground in the upcoming 2018 hurling, football, camogie and ladies football season. Aside from hurling and football, Davy also officiates at ladies matches in camogie and football and also under his wing is a multitude of under age matches. Devotion and commitment is part and parcel of his daily life and apart from walking up and down the sidelines on match days, Davy has to make sure the names of the teams playing are up on the scorebard before he down to recording the scores with his zapper.

For each two games he manages the scoreboard at Ballinlough, Davy gets a token fee for almost three hours of undivided attention but his love of games is so vibrant, maintaining and watching over the ScoreBoard for each and every Ballinlough match, is part and parcel of his daily life. His passion for GAA is unquestionable and watching so many Cork GAA matches every year, he is well versed as a commentator on current and upcoming GAA players.

He goes about his ScoreBoard business with great dignity and is probably the only person in the ground at match times who never gets excited. Davy can be observed patroling up and down the sideline with his rain gear and zapper on the numerous rainy match days and he could easily lay claim to the title "Ballinlough's Silent Player".

It's a tough assignment, meticulous concentration on every stroke of a football or hurley and there's no room for wide of the mark scores to either team. Davy adopts a neutral approach to all teams and in his 28 years at Ballinlough, he has witnessed numeorus matches of a very high standard but he has also witnessed many matches far off the minimum standard, but unlike spectators, Davy must see out every single game till the final whistle blasts game over, regardles of the score differentials between opposing teams.

In 1989 Davy Murphy was fortunate to come out of a major motor accident driving his dads car at Rochestown, Co. Cork. Driving home alone in the car from Passage West to Mahon, Blackrock, the front wheel of the car parted company from the body of the car and the vehicle somersaulted several times, with Davy trapped inside and finishing up in his aunt Jean's front lawn. Paramedics were called and Davy was taken unconscious from the wreckage to Cork University Hospital. He suffered serious head injuries and was induced into a coma for 17 long days and underwent a series of operations on his head at CUH. 

Davy Murphy was just 22 years of age when the accident occured and was a promising young player in hurling and football with his local club, Ballinure,and a great future lay in wait. He also played soccer with Ringmahon Rangers.The accident terminated his sporting career, he could never again play hurling, football or soccer and his working life in the building trade and bar work was also decimated. His return to any form of natural life required intensive rehab to regain his speech, his ability to communicate and walking was a major issue.

On discharge from CUH, returning to a normal life for Davy and also his parents, had immense twists and bends. Davy's dad was also hospitalised at the same time and had major surgery at Cork's South Infirmary Hospital and he was in intensive care on the day of Davy's accident. The family car went to the scrapyard and Marie didn't have a license to drive. With a husband and son both seriously ill in hospital at the same time, life for the Murphy family was complicated and with Marie at the helm, both men required patience and tolerance over a long period.

Whilst Davy was in rehab, Ballinure club mentor and treasurer of Seandún GAA Board in 1989, Derry Collins, made a timely decision to encourage Dave to become the ScoreBoard Man at the headquarters grounds of the City Division (Seandún) and the rest is now history. Just a mere 28 years downstream, that immense decision by Derry has proved to be a master stroke for Davy, his parents, Frank and Marie and through a very unfortunate major accident, Seandún and all the city affiliated clubs and supporters thronging to Ballinlough on match days, acquired one of Ireland's most accomplished ScoreBoard Men. have been aware for decades of the huge role played by Ireland's Champion Volunteers in Sport and also in Community life. Davy Murphy is truly one of Ireland's greatest Champion Sports Volunteers. His route to becoming Seandún's ScoreBoard Man for 28 years was not of his own making but the duty Davy performs for the Board has also been a glorious pastime and rewarding lifesaving experience and in Davy's own words, he won't be retiring anytime soon. When Davy Murphy finally calls time as the Ballinlough ScoreBoard Man, it's unlikely the Board will have many applicants due to the daily demands and hectic schedule of games at Ballinlough all through the playing season.


Why should Davy Murphy be considered as an All Ireland Hall Of Fame Champion Sports Volunteer?

When I composed my hit list of nominations in late 2017 for the 2018 season upcoming, there was no shortage of All Star Athletes and there is also no shortage of All Star Sports Volunteers.

Davy Murphy is an exceptional All Star Champion Sports Volunteer and my decision to enrol Davy Online in our Irish Heritage Hall Of Fame Website, was made easy when I glanced at his daily commitments to the GAA over 28 years and having regard to the circumstances of how he became - The Famous Ballinlough ScoreBoard Man.

On the 27th January 2018 at St. Colmbas Hall, Douglas, Cork, (also known as the Tinny Shed) Davy Murphy was the recipient of a SportsLife Tribute Show by Derry JF Doody, providing recognition and appreciation to for 28 long years of glorious service to all the clubs, players and supporters, who flock to the famous ground on match days. 


The accolade is our Green Star Award, exclusively reserved for our Champion Sports & Community Awards presentations. Davy's profile/tribute was also launched globally at in our category Champion Sports Volunteers under All Ireland Hall Of Fame - Sport.

Congratulation to Davy Murphy - Ballinlough ScoreBoardMan.

Derry JF Doody


Last modified on Thursday, 24 September 2020 10:45
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