Peter Murphy (footballer, born 1922)

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Peter Murphy
Personal information
Date of birth (1922-03-07)7 March 1922
Place of birth West Hartlepool, England
Date of death 7 April 1975(1975-04-07) (aged 53)
Playing position Inside left
Youth career
Coventry City
Birmingham
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–50 Coventry City 114 (37)
1950–52 Tottenham Hotspur 38 (14)
1952–60 Birmingham City 245 (107)
Total 397 (158)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Peter Murphy (7 March 1922 – 7 April 1975), often referred to as "Spud" Murphy, was an English footballer who played as an inside left. He played professionally for three clubs, Coventry City, Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City. He is possibly best remembered for the incident in the 1956 FA Cup Final when Manchester City's goalkeeper Bert Trautmann broke a bone in his neck when diving at Murphy's feet.

Biography[edit]

Murphy was born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, but when he was four years old moved to Coventry with his family.[1] He was with both Coventry City and Birmingham as an amateur footballer before his career was interrupted by the Second World War. He turned professional with Coventry City in May 1946 at the age of 24, making over 100 appearances and scoring at a rate of a goal every three games.

Manager Arthur Rowe took him to Tottenham Hotspur in June 1950 for a fee of £18,500. He played as an inside-forward, deputising for the injured Les Bennett, in the "push and run" side that won the League championship in 1950–51. On Bennett's return to fitness, Murphy found himself being played out of position on the left wing, so when Birmingham City bid £20,000 for him in January 1952 he was willing enough to drop down a division to return to the Midlands.

When Tommy Briggs left Birmingham later that year, Murphy took up a more attacking role in the team. He was an energetic player with a powerful left-foot shot who was willing to shoot from any distance, and was Birmingham's leading scorer three times, in the 1952–53, 1954–55 and 1957–58 seasons. He retired from playing in 1959 to coach Birmingham's youth team, but was called out of retirement for the last seven games of the season and scored four goals which contributed to the club avoiding relegation to the Second Division.

Murphy scored five goals in Birmingham's run to the 1956 FA Cup Final, in which they lost 3–1 to the Don Revie-inspired Manchester City. This match is possibly best remembered for the incident where Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann was injured when he dived at Murphy's feet to collect the ball, but played on in considerable pain for the last 15 minutes of the match without realising he had broken one of the vertebrae in his neck. The following season Murphy scored another four goals in Birmingham's FA Cup run, which ended this time in semifinal defeat to Manchester United's Busby Babes.

He was also a pioneer of European competition. He played in Birmingham's first match in the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, when they became the first English club side to participate in Europe,[2] and finished that campaign as the competition's joint leading scorer.[3] He also played in the second leg of the final of the 1958–60 Fairs Cup, which was the first appearance by an English club side in a European final.[2] Birmingham lost 4–1 to Barcelona.

Over his professional career he scored 158 goals in nearly 400 League appearances. For Birmingham his record was 127 goals in 278 games in all competitions, which ranks him third, behind Joe Bradford and Trevor Francis, in their all-time scoring charts.

Murphy died in 1975 at the age of 53.

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  • Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  2. ^ a b James Ross (13 July 2006). "European Cups Archive". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Davide Rota and Jarek Owsianski (2 April 2006). "Fairs/UEFA Cup Topscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 August 2007.