‘There was massive emotion’ – Sligo players dedicate league victory to Red Óg Murphy on his anniversary

Sligo players celebrate after the Allianz Football League Division 4 Final

Conor Breslin

Sligo players have dedicated their Division 4 league win to their late teammate Red Óg Murphy on the one-year anniversary of his death after overcoming Wicklow by two points in Croke Park.

Despite not scoring from play for 24 minutes, Sligo’s impressive running game and fast moving in the second half, accompanied by two goals either side of half time, saw the Connacht men climb the steps of the Hogan Stand to claim their first AFL silverware since their Division 3 title in 2010.

Following Sligo’s victory, half-back Luke Towey described Red Óg as a “friend who I think of constantly” as he dedicated Sligo’s victory to the young Curry club man.

“For Red Óg and his anniversary being today, I know personally there was massive emotion. That is something you have to contain a small bit when you’re playing, but I’ve been thinking about him all week. He is someone constantly on my mind,” Towey told Independent.ie.

“As a panel going into this final, he was mentioned, he was a focus. I knew Red Óg and I knew the person he was and that he would’ve wanted us to go and win that match for the people of Sligo and give it everything. I think we did that.

“I think the point from that is, Red Óg had everything and he should’ve been out there with us today. He was an unbelievable player with real talent. I do feel he was with us in some sense and he certainly gave the players a bit of his talent today.

“That win was for him. He was a friend of mine who I think of constantly. I know there are some great services out there and if anyone is feeling down or needs help or even just to talk to someone, I really hope they take advice and do that,” said Towey.

It was only fitting that after the match on the Hogan Stand that the man of the match and team captain Niall Murphy - who top-scored for Sligo with 1-04 - dedicated Sligo’s win on behalf of the panel to Red Óg to the fans in GAA headquarters.

During his acceptance speech the corner-forward stated: "Days like that were made from Red Óg. His legacy will live on and for such a young man, he's a legend of Sligo football.

"This one's for Red."