[Image: A white man smiling at the camera]
Part 29 of a series of posts honoring the Grenfell Tower victims.
Denis Murphy, from the 14th floor of
Irishman Denis Murphy was a diehard supporter of Chelsea
football club. “He had three biggest loves in his life: family, friends and
Chelsea Football Club, and not always in that order,” his sister Anne Marie said at the Grenfell inquiry. Denis was also a talented footballer himself, and had trials with Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace.
After his death his family released a statement:
“The pain, loss and sorrow we feel is indescribable and we have been left devastated with a gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled.
To us he was an inspiration and an amazing, selfless,
caring person and we feel lucky and blessed that he was part of our family, and his warmth and love will stay with us forever.
What really matters to us is what he stood for – family,
friends, community, loyalty and love – and our lives will never be the same without him.”
In October 2017, Chelsea FC paid tribute to their fan by stopping a match in the 56th minute – 56 being Denis’s age when he died – and giving him a round of applause. A few months later Denis’s nephew, Stevan Racz, started a campaign to give a Christmas present to every child affected by the Grenfell tragedy.
Denis was a painter and decorator who had lived in London for most of his life, and was “like a dad” to his younger siblings. “He had a strong set of principles and values which he adhered to and instilled in us,” his sister said. Once, at ten years old, he saw a sibling had forgotten his bus money, and so handed over his own. At the Grenfell inquiry, his family told the audience that all they had left of him was a handful of recovered coins.