|Debut:||22-Aug-48, City Cup, (A) v. Limerick|
Billy Murphy, halfback from Dublin junior club Brooklyn where he won a Johnston Cup in the Leinster Leagues in 1948, was one of many ‘promising Dublin juniors’ to sign for Dundalk in the summer of 1948. Before the year was out half a dozen of them would be blooded with first team football, but head of the class of ‘48 was Billy. He had played with Dublin junior club Rossville before moving to England during the war.
His performance in the pre-season Probables versus Possibles saw him on the first team sheet for the opening game and he missed very few games thereafter, becoming a fixture playing at right half in 37 of the 44 matches.
A glorious season saw Billy come away with a City Cup and FAI Cup winner’s medals, a runner up in the Inter City Cup and only on goal average missing out to the League Runner up slot. Success in the Cup final against Shelbourne was founded on the domination of the Dundalk half-back line—Murphy, Skevington and Matthews—over the much-vaunted Reds forward line.
After the financially induced clear out at the end of the 1948-49 season, Johnny Fearon and Billy were the only members of the winning FAI Cup team to reappear for the following year. In a year which saw almost weekly team changes and over 25 players make their senior debut, Billy was a near ever-present, missing only two games, and was rewarded for his consistent performances by his selection as 12th man for the League of Ireland’s March 17th fixture against the Irish League.
The 1950-51 year was no different and at times it was difficult to distinguish between the League and Reserve selections. But there was one moment of glory, when after 25 years and five losing Final day appearances, the club, under player-coach Pat Gallagher, finally took home the Leinster Senior Cup: Dundalk Democrat declared Billy as man-of-the-match.
In Dundalk’s last competitive game of the year—a 5-1 loss at the Mardyke in the middle of April to Cork Athletic, sufficient to clinch the League Championship for the home side by a single point—he brought his club career games to 100. His last club appearances were in the season-end tour to play in the Festival of Britain in May 1951.
He later played with Holyhead in the Welsh League and with Longford Town in the Leinster Senior League. He and Joe O’Brien were on the Longford team that knocked Dundalk out of the Leinster Cup in the winter of 1954, losing to Shamrock Rovers in the St Stephen’s Day decider.
3 Wins: FAI and City Cup 1948-49; Leinster Cup 1950-51.
2 Runners Up: Inter City Cup 1948-49; Presidents Cup 1949-50.