Kevin Greenhorn, Managing Director, Airtricity (right), and David Blood, President, Football Association of Ireland (left), present Waterford football legend Johnny Matthews with the ‘Airtricity Legend’ Award at the opening match at the Aviva Stadium, the Airtricity Challenge clash between the Airtricity League XI and Manchester United.
The award was presented in recognition of Johnny’s exploits with Waterford in the 1960s and ‘70s when the former Blues hero’s goalscoring prowess helped the Blues to six league titles between 1966 and 1973.
Although born in Coventry, Matthews moved to Waterford in 1966 and soon established himself as a fans’ favourite at the old Waterford stadium at Kilcohan Park. His goals helped the Blues to six league titles between 1966 and 1973. He also won a league title with Limerick, as well as guiding Waterford to the First Division title as manager.
His goal tally of 156 league strikes put Matthews in seventh position in the all-time top goalscorers charts. The ‘Airtricity Legend’ remains heavily involved in junior football in Waterford, having managed Tramore, Waterford Crystal and Newcastle West, as well as having refereed for 15 years in the local leagues.
Johnny was a member of the Waterford side that played Manchester United on their last visit to Ireland for a European Cup tie in 1968 - over 40 years before the historic Airtricity Challenge.