Biting Back: Legend Winkie Murphy has given a lot to Irish League football
William Murphy retires from the Irish League tomorrow. Winkie, as everyone in local football knows him, will go down as one of the greats.
He won NINE league titles with Linfield, enjoyed more doubles than Michael van Gerwen, more trebles than Phil Taylor and was influential in a brilliant grand slam winning side for the Blues.
He formed a superb partnership with the great Noel Bailie in an era when top class centre backs like Glen Dunlop, Marty Tabb, John Devine, Paul Leeman, Brian Strain, Alfie Stewart, Chris Walker and Gary Smyth stood tall in the Irish League.
Winkie has spent the latter part of his career at Glenavon, playing a key role guiding less experienced team-mates and savouring success in last year's Irish Cup victory.
To quote Linfield boss Warren Feeney, Winkie, 41, has more 'medals in his house than knives and forks'.
Another quality defender, Cliftonville full-back Ronan Scannell is also hanging up his boots tomorrow. He too can look back on his successful career with great pride.
Like his highly regarded goalscoring brother Chris, Ronan is a gentleman, and while Winkie has led a colourful life, in my dealings with the man mountain, I've found him to be the same.
And both have been keen to show respect to opponents win, lose or draw. Not everyone in the local game can say that. Happy retirement, lads.