It is with deep sorrow that Linfield FC announces the sad passing of former goalkeeper Tommy Moffatt, aged 84.
Tommy passed away peacefully at 1.28pm on Christmas Eve in Cairnmartin care home in North Belfast.
Tommy featured in two of the biggest games in Linfield’s entire history.
Goalkeeper Iam McFall had been transferred to Newcastle United and Tommy took his place in goal for the Quarter Final home and away European Cup ties against CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria on March 1 and 15, 1967.
In front of 11,000 Windsor Park fans for the first leg, Linfield drew 2-2 with the Bulgarian army team. Two weeks later Linfield went down 1-0 to exit the competition but Moffatt proved to be the hero, bringing off a series of superb saves to deny the home side in front of 25,000 noisy fans. CSKA progressed to the semi final to face Inter Milan who then lost to Glasgow Celtic in the final.
Reaching the quarter final of the European Champions Cup was an incredible achievement for Linfield and one that would be unlikely to be repeated in the modern era.
Tommy Moffatt was born on September 30, 1935 and he grew up in the Shankill area.
His football career started at Cliftonville (1953-57) and from there he moved to Ards (1957-62). In 1958 he played for Ards in their European tie against French side Reims.
Tommy had had a trial with Leeds United in season 1956/57.
He emigrated to South Africa in 1962 and while there, he signed for Bracken United. He also signed for Highland park in Johannesburg.
Tommy signed for Linfield in December 1965 and he made 2 appearances in that 1965/66 season. In season 1966/67 he made 17 appearances.
He also made 20 appearances for Linfield Swifts in 1965/66 and 14 appearances in 1966/67.
With Linfield Swifts he won a George Wilson cup winners medal against Larne in 1965/66. He also picked up an Irish league runners up medal with Linfield in 1966/67.
In his early career, he won a youth international cap against England in 1954, an amateur international cap in 1956/57, an inter league cap representing the Irish league against the League of Ireland in 1958 and he also represented Belfast in a County Antrim association match against Sheffield.
Tommy signed for Ards in 1968.
He was employed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard between 1965 and 1968 and he was 30 years with the merchant navy (1969-99). He also worked as a chief engineer with Esso ship petroleum.
The deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences of everyone connected to Linfield Football club are extended to the grieving family circle at this very sad time.
Audaces Fortuna Juvat.