Cliftonville supporters will recall with sadness the sudden loss of long-time fan and dedicated Club volunteer Kenny Murdock last February.
Always one of the first to arrive at Solitude ahead of a game, it became something of a matchday ritual for his fellow members of the Red Army to wave Kenny (below) off as he cycled home past them once the action had concluded.
Captured in tears of joy by television cameras when Cliftonville’s 1998 Premier League title success was confirmed, Kenny was also a proud representative of the Reds on the international stage with his famous ‘Cliftonville FC Belfast’ flag a virtually permanent feature at Republic of Ireland matches around the world.
Throughout 40 years of following both the Reds and Ireland, ‘World Cup Kenny’ developed an extensive collection of rare football shirts and, after the recent Danske Bank Premiership fixture with Ballymena United, the Club were only too pleased to host a charity fundraising event, where supporters could view his impressive array of memorabilia and make a donation to secure a jersey.
The occasion saw an impressive total of £500 raised through the generosity of the Red Army, with Kenny’s friend Nolan Devlin and former colleague Dee French delighted to make a presentation of that sum to nurses at Lagan Valley Hospital, Ward 12, where it is intended the money will be used to purchase outdoor seating to help with the rehabilitation of patients.
Cliftonville Chairman Paul McKeown commented: “Kenny was a brilliant guy, a wonderful volunteer to Cliftonville Football Club and I’m sure he would be honoured to know that his very good friend and dedicated Redsman Nolan Devlin put his football memorabilia to such a fantastic cause.
“Our thanks go to Nolan for the outstanding fundraising efforts which we are extremely proud of.”