Monday, May 20, 2024

FAI pays tribute to Irish football legend Charlie Hurley | The Irish Post

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The Football Association of Ireland has paid tribute to the family and friends of Irish football legend Charlie Hurley after his passing at the age of 87.

Charlie Hurley was capped 40 times by the Republic of Ireland between 1957 and 1969. The former Millwall, Sunderland, and Bolton Wanderers player is rightly regarded as one of the greatest ever Irish players.

The Irish forward was born in Cork in 1936, relocated to Essex with his family during his youth, and started his football journey at Millwall. He would carve out his football legacy with Sunderland, making over 400 appearances for the Black Cats. In 1979, he was honoured as the club’s Player of the Century during their centennial celebrations.

Charlie Hurley’s time in football ended at Bolton, but Sunderland is the location where he became known as ‘The King.”

In the 1963/64 season, Charlie Hurley and Bobby Moore contested the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year award, and it was Moore, the legendary England World Cup-winning captain, who bested him for the accolade.

On the international front, Charlie Hurley was first capped by Ireland at the age of 20 in a famous 1-1 draw with England at a packed Dalymount Park in a World Cup qualifier in May 1957. He was inducted into the FAI’s Hall of Fame in 2007 when then-Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn led the standing ovation at Dublin’s Jury’s Hotel. He captained his country over 20 times and willingly filled the emergency role of player-coach in his final three international games.

FAI President Paul Cooke said today: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie Hurley’s family and friends at this difficult time. It has been over 50 years since Charlie won the last of his 40 caps, but it is a measure of the esteem in which he was held in football that every Irish fan knows of the legend that was Charlie Hurley. We are proud that he played for Ireland, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all who knew The King.”

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