Episode five of our series charting Dublin legend Vinnie Murphy's QUIT journey, with the help of the HSE’s QUIT service, brings us to match day with a crunch game between Vinnie’s beloved St. Monica’s and relegation rivals Lucan Sarsfields.
The season has been a battle for Monica's and they go into the game deadlocked with Lucan on six points in the league. This is a battle for survival to stay in Division 4 of the Dublin Football League, and is the most important game that St. Monica’s have had in the last 5 years, according to assistant coach Pat Finn.
Vinnie, the player-manager, has been leading by example in the run up to match day. Quitting smoking has not only given him the platform to perform and give that little bit more on the pitch, but also inspire the teammates around him day-to-day. His commitment and dedication in and out of the dressing room has inspired his teammates to go that extra mile and Vinnie has been the trendsetter, with his positive attitude and drive being infectious.
St Monica’s got off to a roaring start, going in at the break with a 0-7 to 0-2 lead.
Unfortunately, the boys were pegged back in the second half and their lead was reduced to 2 points when it was time for the manager to call a bit of experience from the bench - himself!
Vinnie came on with 10 mins to go, and was the calm head that St. Monica’s needed. He collected the high balls well and scored a fine point to see his team home, with the game finishing 0-14 to 0-8 in favour of Monica's.
In an earlier episode, Vinnie claimed that if quitting smoking meant that he could make a difference on match day, it would all have been worth it. Now, not only has he achieved this, but he has also shown his teammates and family his strength and willpower to come out the other side.
Now, if Vinnie Murphy is asked if he smokes, he will say "no", and that step is a significant one on the path to a longer and healthier life, and will even allow him to make a football comeback in his late 40s!
If you relate to Vinnie's story and would like to be fitter, faster and fresher call the QUIT Team on 1800 201 203 or sign up for a QUIT plan on . Follow Vinnie’s progress by checking out Balls' Facebook page where you will get to track his efforts to kick the habit.
On that note, you can engage with the campaign by posting updates from your own quitting regime by including #KicktheHabit in your tweets.