In this new Vital feature we take a look at Pool players’ of the past and where their careers have taken them after Bloomfield Road
This weeks past master is terrace favourite John Murphy. The likeable scouser joined Bloomfield Road from Chester City in 1999 after spending four successful years at the Deva stadium. In this period, Big Murphs notched up over 100 appearances, as well as bagging over 20 league goals.
Murphy’s time at Bloomfield Road spanned 7 years, during which time he was an ever present up front, when injury free. The big number nine was idolised by the fans for his wholehearted displays and goalscoring prowess. In over 250 appearances in Tangerine, Murphy scored 103 goals, putting him up there with the best goalscorers in seaside history.
Murphs’ formed an outstanding partnership with Brett Ormerod, particularly in Blackpool’s promotion season in 2000. Big John appeared in all three Millenium stadium finals with Pool, scoring in both of the LDV Vans Trophy final victories.
However, Murphy consistently suffered from injuries, particularly vulnerable was his infamous ‘glass’ back. In October 2006, big John joined League 2 Macclesfield on loan in order to prove his fitness. Fast forward to January 2007 and with Pool flying in League 1, Simon Grayson let Murphy sign for Macc until the end of the season.
Murphs’ went on to make 32 appearances for Macclesfield, scoring nine goals. He became a fans favourite after his goals helped the club battle clear of relegation. Murphs’ deservedly acheived national fame when he scored at Stamford Bridge in Macc’s 6 – 1 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup 3rd round.
In the summer, Murphy moved on from Macclesfield to go back to where it all started at Chester City. He signed a two year contract at the Deva stadium and has already bagged a couple of goals this season, helping Chester into 5th place in League 2. It seems likely that the big man will end his career at Chester.
John Murphy has etched his place in Seasiders’ folklore for his loyal service and impressive goalscoring record. His powerful physical presence remains his main strength, and he is still a big asset in the lower leagues despite being the wrong side of 30.
Next week we track the progress of one of Murphs’ strike partners whilst at the Seaside, Richard Walker.