The Eastern New York State Soccer Association (ENYSSA) will induct a New Hyde Park resident as its 15th member from Long Island into its Hall of Fame (HOF) this year.
Willie Dempsey was nominated by the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) a couple of months after he was named “Life Member” at the LISFL’s annual awards dinner in June. Dempsey will be the first Long Island inductee to the HOF since Malusa Marco in 2010.
Dempsey has been part of the LISFL’s perennial power house amateur club New York Irish Rovers for over 30 years, starting as a player, then later on becoming an administrator and is currently club president.
His achievements both as player and coach rank as one of the best in amateur soccer on Long Island, including 10 New York State Championships (4 Division 1 Manning Cups), 20 Long Island League Championships, 24 Long Island Cup Championships and 6 Sportsmanship Awards.
The New York Irish Rovers is currently the second most decorated club in the 64 year history of the LISFL.
“Willie Dempsey is one of the fiercest competitors you will ever meet on the pitch, even today,” said LIISFL president Gus Xikis and hall of fame member said in a statement, “but his quality reaches beyond just playing soccer. Willie is a devoted volunteer and has passed on his many years of experience to a countless number of young student-athletes, helping them to develop into great soccer players.”
Dempsey is also an elected member of the LISFL board, currently the League’s third vice-President and the commissioner for all divisions of the LISFL.
“I am truly honored to accept this nomination,” Dempsey said in a statement. “It is humbling to look at the other members of the hall of fame and consider myself among them.”