Devoted is the word that springs to mind for all who knew Merv Curphy.
The Border sporting community has lost a “true gentleman”.
Mr Curphy died peacefully at Albury Base Hospital on December 27.
Born on August 10, 1937, he earned plenty of respect on the sporting field, particularly in football, cricket and lawn bowls.
Mr Curphy was a boundary umpire and later became a trainer at his beloved Albury Football Club.
He was awarded life membership and would rarely miss an Albury game.
SS and A Cricket Club also bestowed him with the same honour, while in 2016 he was inducted into the Albury and District Bowling Association Hall of Fame.
Albury stalwart and Lavington bowler Les Waldron has plenty of memories.
“I’m 80 this year and he was 81, so we sort of grew up together,” he said.
“He was a devoted Albury man and put a lot of time into the footy club.
“Not that I go much to the footy these days, but whenever I did he’d be there.
“He will be sadly missed, no-one would speak a bad word about him.”
Bowls identity John McDonnell won a state title with Mr Curphy in 1993 with SS and A Bowling Club.
“He used to play with the SS and A, Winsor Park and he went over to Wodonga Country to play with his brother for a couple of years,” McDonnell said.
“He went to North Albury and back to SS and A.
“In 1993, Merv and I and a few other chaps won state in Sydney and a couple of years later he won again.
“He never had too many bad days like a lot of us do.
“I remember one story when he kept going to other clubs and he came back to Winsor Park, I told all the boys to put a black band on their arm.
“Merv said ‘what’s the black bands on the arms for?’ and I said ‘it’s for you coming back to our club mate’.
“He cracked it for a couple of minutes and then he saw the funny side.”
North Albury Bowling Club president John Eddy knew Mr Curphy well. The pair played football, cricket and bowls together.
“In his heyday, he was one of the best leads in Albury and District,” he said.
“All the time he was at North Albury, he was always there to help people.
“He was the type of person you wanted around your clubs because he didn’t complain and just got in there and did it, and most times did it really well.”
Mr Curphy was a loved father and father-in-law of Michelle, Tracey and Bryan, Fiona, Mandy and Malcolm, and an adored grandfather to seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
His funeral is at Albury’s Lester and Son Funeral Home on Friday at 2pm, followed by burial at Glenmorus Gardens Cemetery.
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