In 1963, John Murphy captained Dundalk to a first away win for an Irish side in European competition. 

Jimmy Hasty and Dermot Cross were on target as the Lilywhites beat FC Zurich 2-1 in Switzerland in September of that year in the European Cup, having lost the home leg 3-0 at Dalymount Park.

"We went to Zurich, we were completely calm about the situation," Murphy said.

"We knew we could play better than we did in Dublin, and we came away with a historic victory, winning 2-1. That's still in the record books. 

"It's something for myself, at my time of life, it's great to look back on, and it's a wonderful achievement."

Murphy's contemporary Dundalk counterparts will certainly have enjoyed a more professional build-up to tonight's Europa League clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium than the one he and his colleagues had to endure ahead of their first leg against FC Zurich. 

"I worked until 4pm and got the minibus to Dalymount Park," Murphy recalled. 

"We were walking up the laneway at 6.30pm and kick-off was at 7.30pm, so that was our preparation.

"When we got up to Dublin, we found out Zurich played in white jerseys as well. Luckily, we had a second set of jerseys. They were belonging to a local junior team here in Dundalk called Arsenal.

"They say football has cycles and here we are tonight playing the real Arsenal," he quipped. 

Murphy is under no illusions about tonight's game and getting a result against one of the Premier League's biggest clubs will be difficult. Arsenal and Dundalk may be in the same competition, but they occupy very different financial worlds. 

"We're playing against the elite of the Premier League," he 82-year-old admitted. 

"They transferred a man (Thomas Partey) last week for £45m. That shows you the gap between the League of Ireland and the Premier League in England. 

"It's going to be a very tough game, but this is what every player wants.

"This is the pinnacle of their career, to meet and play against teams like Arsenal. It's a great thrill for the players – they’ll never have this again – they’d be very lucky if they get it again.

"To be honest with you, if I could find my boots, I’d love to be running out there myself!"

Because of Covid-19, supporters can’t travel to the Emirates Stadium in London, which is a huge disappointment for Dundalk's fanbase. 

"2020 seems to be the year that keeps on taking, so if we can get something back, we’ll cling to it and look forward to this game," said local woman Aoife Mullen, who’s a huge supporter of 'De Town'.

"There may be restrictions on numbers and celebrations, but there’s no limit on support." 

Donal Sweeney is another fan looking forward to tonight’s game. 

"All Dundalk supporters would be hoping for is a good performance and keeping the score down, and if we get that, we’ll be happy," he said.

Former co-owner and chairman Paul Brown agrees, but he believes the infamous Dundalk support will be missed tonight.

"I don’t think the Emirates Stadium will have ever seen support like ours before. They’d have enjoyed the noise and banter that we’re known for throughout the league," he said.

"It’s going to be difficult and we have to be realistic, but if we can get something out of it, we’ll be fine."

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