Teammates pay tribute to 'Dutchy'
AMERICAN Basketball tradition visited Lismore last night when Glenn Murphy's No.44 singlet was retired and hung from the rafters at the Lismore Basketball Association headquarters.
Murphy, affectionately remembered as Dutchy, died as the result of a car crash on Bangalow Road last month - the 34-year-old was on his way to Byron Bay for a tournament.
Last night his Tatts Bats team-mates paid the likeable veteran the ultimate tribute in their season-opening match, won 41-33, with Rous Rebels.
Not only did the Tatts Bats, in true NBA tradition but without the fanfare but full of love, retire Dutchy's singlet and hoist it high above the battle field they renamed themselves the "Flying Dutchmen".
And with Dutchy's spirit circling in the warm, thick evening air the Flying Dutchmen fought off a 12-10 first-quarter deficit to be three points ahead at the long break, six at the end of the third quarter and went on to register an eight-point victory.
His singlet numbers - 44 - when added together was the winning margin to give the Flying Dutchmen a symbolic victory.
His partner Mel Davis, courtside for the raising of Dutchy's singlet, was almost speechless.
"Its heart wrenching ... its touching ... I'm speechless," Davis told The Northern Star.
Regathering her composure Mel said: "He would be amazed at what is happening."
Family and friends gathered to watch the match and to pay tribute to his team-mates and foe alike as they battled for competition points and to see off their mate in true sporting tradition; no love lost on the court, plenty shared off it.
"For over 10 years Dutchy never missed a game," team-mate Ben Conte said.
"It feels weird being here and he's not ... he'd be watching over the top of us."