Matt Murray (English footballer)
|Full name||Matthew William Murray|
|Date of birth||2 May 1981|
|Place of birth||Solihull, England|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|2000||→ Slough Town (loan)||2||(0)|
|2000||→ Kingstonian (loan)||1||(0)|
|2006||→ Tranmere Rovers (loan)||2||(0)|
|2008||→ Hereford United (loan)||3||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Matthew William Murray (born 2 May 1981) is an English former football goalkeeper for Wolverhampton Wanderers. His career was plagued by injuries which eventually forced him to retire. Since retiring, Murray has worked as a match reporter and in-studio summariser for Sky Sports News, and he is currently the goalkeeping coach at the Nike Academy.
Born in Solihull, Murray progressed through Wolves academy system to sign professional forms in 1998. The five-year contract he was given, aged 17, is the longest in the club's history for an academy graduate.
However, his career failed to find its stride immediately as he was largely out of contention through injury. He suffered a cruciate knee injury just twenty minutes into a loan spell at non-league Kingstonian in October 2000 where he made his first professional appearance.
He was promoted into Wolves' first team on 31 August 2002 against Wimbledon, deputising for the injured Michael Oakes, and then keeping his place through that season. The season ended with him producing a man-of-the-match performance in the Play-off final in May 2003, where he produced a number of vital saves to help the club win promotion to the Premier League, the pick being a second-half penalty save from Michael Brown.
He followed this up by debuting for England Under-21s, against Slovakia U21, the first of five under-21 caps. However, a back problem then a foot fracture wrecked his second season. In the three years that followed the success of 2002–03, he only played seven games for Wolves due to a variety of injuries.
The goalkeeper next played in January 2005 but soon suffered another break to his foot, ruling him out for a further year. By March 2006 he was fit enough to be sent on loan to Tranmere Rovers, but was called back to Wolves within a month because of possible injuries to other goalkeepers.
He started his first game for Wolves in almost sixteen months on the final day of the season at Norwich City, and managed to retain his place at the beginning of the 2006–07 season, where he was largely accredited with Wolves' impressive start to the season, due to a catalogue of good performances allowing for five of their first seven games to end 1–0.
His performances were given further recognition as he won the PFA Championship Player of the Month award in December 2006, and, as the campaign ended, he was named in the Championship Team of the Year at the 2006–07 PFA Awards dinner and also voted the PFA Fans' Player of the Year for the division. He was also voted Wolves' Player of the Season as they reached the play-offs. The season ended on a sour note though as he broke his shoulder on the eve of his club's vital play-off game against local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
After spending the summer recuperating from his shoulder injury, he suffered another setback from a cruciate (left) knee injury in pre-season training. He underwent two operations for this, and missed the whole of the 2007–08 campaign while undergoing rehabilitation with the aim of returning for the new season. However, inflammation in his knee then delayed his comeback further still. By the time he recovered, fellow academy graduate Wayne Hennessey had established himself as first choice.
In November 2008, he joined League One Hereford United on loan, but only played two full games before injury again struck suffering a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee during a match against MK Dons. In November 2009 Murray started his first game back for Wolves playing in a reserve game, but he felt discomfort in his knee and was substituted after just 23 minutes. This was to prove his last appearance in a Wolves shirt.
He announced his playing retirement on 26 August 2010 aged 29. In total he made 100 appearances for Wolves in all competitions.
On 26 September 2010, at half-time in a match between Wolves and Aston Villa, he gave a speech to the crowd, announcing his retirement and thanking the fans.
- "Player Profile: Matt Murray" Wolves.co.uk (Retrieved: 5 August 2009)
- "Yeovil Town 3–1 Kingstonian". BBC Sport. 21 October 2000.
- "Wimbledon 3–2 Wolves". BBC Sport. 31 August 2002.
- "Wolves back in big time". BBC Sport. 26 May 2003.
- "Miller closes in on return". BBC Sport. 17 September 2003.
- "Wolves suffer Murray blow". BBC Sport. 6 November 2003.
- "New blow for Murray". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004.
- "Wolves recall Murray from Rovers". BBC Sport. 28 April 2006.
- "Matt top player for December". wolves.co.uk. 3 January 2007.
- "Ronaldo secures PFA awards double". BBC Sport. 22 April 2007.
- "Second award for Matt". wolves.co.uk. 24 April 2007.
- "Player of the Season". wolves.co.uk. 28 April 2007.
- "Murray out with broken shoulder". BBC Sport. 13 May 2007.
- "Murray faces long Wolves lay-off". BBC Sport. 8 August 2007.
- "Murray planning pre-season return". BBC Sport. 20 March 2008.
- "Murray heads for Hereford on loan". BBC Sport. 12 November 2008.
- "MK Dons 3–0 Hereford". BBC Sport. 25 November 2008.
- "Murray staying positive". wolves.co.uk. 11 November 2009.
- "Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Murray retires". BBC Sport. 26 August 2010.
- Matt Murray at Soccerbase