Striker Reflects On Time In TangerineJohn Murphy moved to Blackpool from Chester City in 1999 and struck up a formidable strike partnership with Brett Ormerod at Bloomfield Road. Having departed the club for Macclesfield in 2006, he looks back on his time in tangerine.
What can you remember about your debut?
I signed three days before the first game so it wasn’t ideal preparation because I didn’t really know any of the lads. I had my first training session and I stayed in a B&B for a couple of days, which was an experience because I’d never really left home.
I remember the game being against Wrexham and we won 2-1 with Brett scoring both the goals. I didn’t play too well but that was understandable because I’d just come from a club in crisis in Chester.
What would you say your favourite goal for the club was?
Probably the ones at The Millennium Stadium. They stick out because they were in big surroundings with the LDV being like the lower league FA Cup final. I wasn’t lucky enough to score in the play-off final but I should have done.
If you could re-live one game from your career in tangerine, which one would you choose?
Probably the Yeovil game in the FA Cup that we lost 1-0. It was live on Sky and myself and Brett missed about five or six guilt-edged chances. I remember going out for a drink on the Sunday night and there was a karaoke where I knew the compere, and he just gave me stick all night because I’d had a bad game. I’d want to play that one again to put things right.
In terms of dressing room banter, what was the best prank you witnessed?
We had a lad called Matt Shaw and he had a car called a wrangler which was like a transformer. It was a convertible that used to go in different shapes and one day he had the top down when there was a load of rubbish outside the training ground. Sam Stockley took all the rubbish out of a skip and put it in Matt’s car. It didn’t go down well but the lads were in stitches.
But that was the tip of the iceberg because there were that many. The banter we had at Blackpool, with the characters and people we had, was unbelievable. It was a really good dressing room with Tommy Jaszczcun, Phil Barnes and John Hills.
On reflection, what achievement are you most proud of?
Scoring 100 goals, I think. That’s a good little milestone that I got, even though I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked due to injuries. I’d have liked to have scored a lot more and I think I would have done if I’d have stayed fit. I’m still proud of scoring 100 goals for Blackpool.
Best player you played with…
Paul Simpson, closely followed by Martin Bullock. Them two alone provided me with a lot of goals. Simmo had an unbelievable left foot and I always knew what he was going to do. I always knew that the ball would come in. If Bully come have crossed the ball a little bit better, I think he’d have played at a higher level for a lot longer. His overall play and directness was fabulous.
Some would probably say me, but Peter Clarke was the worst and he won’t like reading this. All he wanted to do was weights.
I know he eventually did but Keith Southern should have got a lot more. Brett should have also got more when I played with him because he did all my running for me. He deserved a lot of credit for the goals in our partnership.
Tommy Jaszczun was really funny and he couldn’t sit still. He’d always be sat at a table in the morning telling jokes.
Most likely to become a successful manager in future…
Simmo had a go and I know he’s back involved as first-team coach at Derby. He’ll still have a good career in football and management.