CLIFTONVILLE remains in mourning following the passing of popular club volunteer Kenny Murdock.
The Lisburn man sadly passed away last week, and his funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday).
Affectionately known as ‘World Cup Kenny,’ the 56-year-old was a steward at Solitude and followed Cliftonville and Ireland across the world.
A member of the Derryhirk Ireland Supporters Club in Lurgan, Kenny attended hundreds of matches with his famous Cliftonville flag. He drew attention worldwide and gathered many badges, for the flag, from the countries visited with its proud owner.
Cliftonville held a minute’s applause in Kenny’s memory prior to Saturday’s 1-0 win over Larne and his famous Cliftonville/Ireland flag flew proudly from the main stand at Solitude.
👏 Hope you enjoyed that one, Kenny. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/zrsPHqW4vN— Cliftonville FC (@cliftonvillefc) February 20, 2021
Lifelong friend Nolan Devlin spoke of his 30-year friendship with Kenny and revealed how popular he was with fellow Ireland fans at international games.
“I’ve known Kenny for 30 years and he just lived for the Reds and Ireland, that was his life,” said Devlin.
“As soon as the draw was made for the World Cup or Euros he was straight onto his travel agent to book flights.
“He’d been to every major tournament Ireland qualified for: three World Cups and two Euros.
“He’d be at the stadium four or five hours before kick-off, making sure his flag was in a prime location for the TV cameras. He wouldn’t leave the flag unattended, even when security told him to return to his seat.
“The famous flag was precious to him, he paid extra to add it to his carry-on luggage on flights. He was so proud to support Ireland and Cliftonville.”
Kenny’s flag (pictured above) took pride of place at Solitude on Saturday.
Adorned with badges from the countries and cities he had visited on his journeys with Cliftonville and Ireland, some have called for it to be retained as a tribute.
“Just like a passport stamp, his flag needed a cloth badge after each trip,” added Devlin.
“That was his job on matchday, getting a badge to sew onto the flag when he got home.
“Everybody knew Kenny at the away matches, he was so likeable and loved answering questions about his flag and allowing supporters to take photos.
“Since the mid-80s he only missed about 14 or 15 Ireland games. Some of his more obscure trips included the 2001 playoff in Iran, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Russia, Israel etc. Wherever Ireland and Cliftonville were playing he was there, even if it was a friendly.
“He didn’t smoke and he wasn’t a big drinker. His only vice was following Ireland and Cliftonville, no matter the financial cost.
“He would travel a few days before the matches, and stay on afterwards, making a holiday out of it. Everybody knew him and he was just a lovely man. We’re all very shocked at his sudden passing, he will be sorely missed at Cliftonville and Ireland games.”