We honored Willie’s involvement with the New York Irish Rovers amateur soccer club for the past three decades Read more
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 4, 2012-The Eastern New York State Senior Association and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association congratulate New Hyde Park resident Willie Dempsey, who was inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame at the 2012 Holiday Party on December 1 at Lido Restaurant on City Island. We honored Willie’s involvement with the New York Irish Rovers amateur soccer club for the past three decades.
“His club is the second winningest club in the league after only Glen Cove,” said Gus Xikis, President of the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL).
The LISFL nominated Willie for the Eastern New York Hall of Fame after naming him a Life Member at its Annual Awards Dinner last June.
Willie started playing soccer at age five in County Longford, Ireland where he grew up as the second youngest of two brothers and nine sisters––all of whom played soccer. His 10 siblings and he could have formed their own family soccer team. Willie came to the United States at age 17 in May 1985 to stay with an aunt for the summer. He never left, and never missed an opportunity to play soccer.
“I landed on a Friday and I played my first game for the Rovers on a Sunday,” Willie recalled.
Willie, who has played defender throughout his career, won 10 New York State championships, 20 Long Island championships, 24 Long Island Cups as a player and coach for the Irish Rovers. Proving that nice guys finish first, Rover teams have also won six LISFL Sportsmanship Awards too.
At age 46, he’s still playing on the Rovers’ reserve squad.
“I love getting out on a Sunday and putting the boots on,” he said.