Shamrocks goalie Baron Meyer, left, with John Duddy. Meyer saved two penalties in the Legends win.
By Jay Mwamba
John Duddy, the former world middleweight boxing title contender and star of Colin Broderick’s latest film, won man of the match honors in the Shamrocks Legends’ 4-2 penalty victory over Baldwin in the Long Island Soccer Football League’s [LISFL] Over-40 Gillen Cup final in Massapequa last weekend.
A wildly popular prizefighter in his previous incarnation, Duddy and compatriot James Moore -- also a retired pugilist -- went 90 minutes in the Legends midfield.
Duddy hit a post in the first half with a right footed effort and after a goalless draw, the final went to penalties.
“Baron Meyer was the hero of the shoot-out, saving the first two Baldwin attempts and paving the way for victory, thanks to successful strikes from Player of the Year Bingo O'Driscoll, his fellow Kerry man Niall Corbett, James Moore and the clincher from Sergio Tache,” said the Legends’ Ger Shivnan.
“Man of the match John Duddy was the standout performer in a scoreless draw played out in entertaining fashion with both sides having opportunities in front of goal, including Duddy who hit the post in the first half with a wonderful shot,” Shivnan added. “This was the first ever trophy for the Rocks Over 40s unit in what was a unique season spent in the Long Island league.”
"I'm very proud of this squad," said player-manager John Riordan.
"It was an incredible battle with no room for error. The lads were delighted and it's great to add a trophy to those won by our first team and reserves. We enjoyed our year in Long Island and we'll look forward to the return to the Cosmopolitan Soccer League next season."
“John Riordan is a big part of the Shamrocks Legends. It’s all thanks to him that this happened,” said Duddy.
“It was a really tough game,” Duddy added, noting that it was the first time he’d played 90 minutes in 15 years.
The “Derry Destroyer,” as he was known in his boxing days before hanging up the gloves with a 29-2 [18 KOs] ledger, and Moore, a former world amateur boxing champion who went 17-3, 10 KOs] as a light middleweight in the paid ranks, debuted for the Legends last November. Duddy said it was Moore, an Arklow transplant, who asked if he was interested in playing soccer again.
Since hanging up the gloves, Duddy and Moore have pursued different endeavors. Moore went into business as the proprietor of the popular Woodside, Queens, establishment Maggie Mae’s, and Duddy as an actor. He has appeared on stage, in movies, short films and music videos.
Duddy’s played legendary Scottish boxer Ken Buchanan in the Roberto Duran bio-pic “Hands of Stone,” that also starred Robert De Niro. Earlier, he’d helped De Niro train for the boxing sequences for the film “Grudge Match.” Duddy other notable big screen credits include Colin Broderick’s first feature film, “Emerald City” and the forthcoming release, “A Bend in the River,” also by Broderick.