Leicester City News - Mar '04

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.. RIP Bernard (29/03/04)

Leicester City's Supporter Relations Manager, Peter Jones, will be going to attend the funeral of Everton fan, Bernard Murphy tomorrow and taking a wreath on behalf of LCFC and the City fans.

Bernard Murphy, 40, was killed when a piece of hoarding loosened by winds of 75mph struck him on Upperton Road before Everton's 1-1 draw against Leicester.

The father-of-one, from Huyton, will be buried at St Aloysius Church on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Murphy was a season ticket holder at Goodison who had not missed a match in three seasons and also coached a team of under-10s footballers.

City fans had asked for LCFC to send flowers and to have a minute's silence for Bernard, realising it could have been any one of us that day.

The minute's silence was a special one...here's a posting from City fan Bob Wood on it...

In everybody's 'career' as a football fan, there are moments that stand out above all others; moments which will come to mind at the strangest of times for the rest of one's life. Sometimes the moment will relate to something that happened on the field: the Birch's scorcher from the ... *cough* ... half-way line against Leeds in 1973; Steve Thompson's equaliser against Swindon; Steve Claridge's shin in 1996 and his volley at Hillsborough the following season.

But sometimes the moment will emanate from the crowd: the Anfield Kop's round of applause for Gordon Banks in August 1966, after he helped England win the World Cup - they repeated it every time he played in front of them, but the first time was the moment because it was so unexpected; "Stand Up if you love Leicester" was the moment when we finally accepted that we were going down.

Who will forget those moments?

At the Walkers Stadium yesterday, there was another moment which will always bear on the minds of the people who witnessed it. Last week after the Everton game, all of our hearts skipped a beat when, immediately after the final whistle, the stadium announcer told us of the death of a Merseysider in a tragic accident on his way to the game. All week we have been torturing ourselves over the Shankly-tenet that we have always believed to be true - that football is much more important than life itself!

And then yesterday the moment came. Most times when there is to be a minute's silence before a game, the announcer has trouble making himself heard; many people never know what it is that they are being asked to stay silent for. But yesterday the ground fell silent as if a hand had been drawn across it; only then did the announcer ask us to remember Bernard Murphy. The world went into slow motion: spontaneous applause started in the north-east corner, home for the day of the other side of the City of
Liverpool: it was soon to be echoed by the City fans in the rest of the stadium: and then in the same instant the ovation calmed: the referee blew his whistle as he started to count the minute down: nobody minded the young man in the south stand whose disability meant that he couldn't stay silent; everybody understood, nobody remonstrated with him. We stood there and wondered - each one about our different things, but we stood and wondered.

The whistle blew again. And then it blew again and the football began. Mr Dowd and his seven bookings will soon be forgotten; the memory of Muzzy Izzet's last minute might last for a week or two. But for the people who were there, that minute's silence will live in their memory for ever.

It was one of those moments.

RIP Bernard.

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