Donegal great Michael Murphy hasn’t given up hope of Championship activity this summer — despite the Government’s decision to ban all mass gatherings until September at least.
The Glenswilly man is currently in lockdown with his parents at the family home. But, in an interview for Benetti Menswear, he says he is still looking forward to football in 2020.
“Where do I see it? I still believe in my heart of all hearts that there’s still going to be a Championship this year, for ourselves footballing wise,” said Murphy.
“But that’s solely football and I think the most vital thing for us at the moment, as a county in Donegal, and as a country in Ireland...I mean I think the work that frontline staff are doing at the moment and the work that by and large everyone in the country is doing to help tackle this, to help stem this, is unbelievable.
“It’s really hit home with me. I always look at my life as football being the be-all and end-all. This is probably one of the occasions in my whole life where I realise that maybe there is something every bit as important.”
Murphy reckons he’ll have a different perspective on life and sport when the national health emergency ends.
“I think so, I think a lot of people will,” said Murphy.
“There are moments that come across us on a yearly basis or maybe on a monthly basis, where everybody sort of stops and checks themselves and they say, ‘You know what, I’m not going to take things as serious anymore’ or ‘I’m going to put value on things that I should be putting value into’.
"This prolonged period now, for myself, means you’re doing that a lot.”
Murphy admits he has lived with a decade of regret and feeling that he let his former colleagues down.
The 2012 All-Ireland winning captain wasted a glorious opportunity to win the U21 title for Donegal in 2010 when he smacked a last-gasp penalty against the crossbar.
Dublin escaped with a two-point win and Murphy admitted it ‘still rankles’ as he felt he ‘let the whole group of lads down’.
The 30-year-old went on to redeem himself with five Ulster senior wins and the 2012 All-Ireland.
But he’s never forgotten 2010 or, apparently, forgiven himself and revealed that he’s so sorry for his ex-colleagues.
“It’s difficult, it was horrible, you were captain of the team,” said Murphy.
“It was the really stereotypical moment where you felt you let the whole group of lads down. You felt you let the whole county down basically.
“The whole county came out in absolutely massive numbers. Listen, it was just horrible. And it still rankles with me.
“Because every time you see those lads, there’s a couple that are still in the senior team at the moment, any time you bump into one of them you still have that in the back of your mind that you basically lost a medal for them.
“For me personally, it was either sink or swim, get up and get on with it and push on.
“That was on the Saturday night and I remember there was a club league game, I think it was the Bank Holiday Monday, I think we were playing Glenties and we got a penalty in the first 10 minutes.
“There was a kind of a quiet eeriness surrounding the place.
“I think some of the Glenties fans were hoping for a repeat!”