Published Thursday, 24 May 2018
A century-old school football tournament has been resurrected in memory of a Lisbon Lion.
The Bobby Murdoch Primary Schools Memorial Cup is picking up where the Burgh Cup - first played for in 1910 – left off when it was last staged in the mid 1970s.
With the event only open to schools in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, the inaugural Bobby Murdoch competition stays true to that history and celebrates the life of a local football legend, 17 years after his death.
Fifteen teams, from nine schools, competed for the new cup this week with St Charles’ PS the victors, runners-up St Mark’s and ‘stand out player’ Chris Neeson, of St Charles’ being presented with their trophy by Bobby’s widow, Kathleen, and eldest son, also Bobby.
Among the teams taking part were St Columbkille’s where Bobby himself first lifted the Burgh cup with his schoolmates in 1953.
By 1967 the gifted midfielder, who made more than 500 appearances for Celtic, was a key part of the first British team ever to lift the European cup.
Councillor David Watson, the chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, which is behind the revival of the tournament, hopes that the young players of 2018 will take inspiration from that achievement.
Councillor Watson said: “Rutherglen and St Columbkille’s Primary helped make Bobby the man he was, and memories of him as a player, but also as the boy who grew up alongside them, are what Ruglonians hold so dear, and why they hold him in such respect.
“It makes perfect sense that a tournament which is designed to nurture and encourage grass roots football in the area should be held in his honour.
“He was one of the greatest of his age, in fact of any age, and more than half a century on from that famous victory, we are proud to remember him still as one of our own.
“Well done to all of the young footballers who have taken part here in what is the first of many successful tournaments to come. And, our thanks go to Kathleen and Bobby for making it extra special by agreeing to present the cup to our worthy winners.”
Bobby Murdoch Jr said the family is honoured to be a part of the tournament. He said: “Our dad is rightly remembered as part of a legendary team who will live on in hearts and minds for a long time to come.
"But his roots are right here in Rutherglen, this is where he honed his skills in the playground as a boy and, the winning of the Burgh cup in his school days meant as much to him then as lifting that iconic silverware in 1967.
“We are all genuinely delighted that the tournament has been brought back as the Bobby Murdoch Primary Schools Memorial cup, nurturing and showing off the skills of kids across Rutherglen and Cambuslang.”