Danny Murphy (footballer, born 1977)

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Danny Murphy
Danny Murphy2011.jpg
Murphy playing for Fulham during the 2011–12 season
Personal information
Full name Daniel Ben Murphy [1]
Date of birth (1977-03-18) 18 March 1977 (age 44)
Place of birth Chester, England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) [2]
Position(s) Central midfielder
Youth career
Crewe Alexandra
Senior career*
1993–1997 Crewe Alexandra 134 (27)
1997–2004 Liverpool 170 (25)
1998–1999Crewe Alexandra (loan) 16 (1)
2004–2006 Charlton Athletic 56 (7)
2006–2007 Tottenham Hotspur 22 (2)
2007–2012 Fulham 169 (18)
2012–2013 Blackburn Rovers 33 (1)
National team
1994–1995 England U18 6 (0)
1997 England U20 4 (3)
1997–2000 England U21 5 (0)
2001–2003 England 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Daniel Ben Murphy (born 18 March 1977) is an English former professional footballer who played as a central midfielder.


Having begun his career at Crewe Alexandra in 1993, he moved to Liverpool in 1997, where he won a treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001. [3] During his time at Liverpool he scored the winning goal against arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in three Premier League games, each a 1–0 win. [4] After brief spells at Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur he joined Fulham, which he helped reach the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final, and ended his career at Blackburn Rovers. He served as captain at his last two clubs.

Murphy made nine appearances for the England team from his debut in 2001, scoring once. Since retiring, he has been a regular analyst on the BBC programme Match of the Day .

Club career

Early career

Born in Chester, Cheshire, Murphy started out as a trainee at Crewe Alexandra. [5] Murphy has always praised the role of Crewe manager Dario Gradi in his footballing education, considering him as his mentor. [6] [7]

In November 2016, as the United Kingdom football sexual abuse scandal erupted, Murphy also strongly defended Gradi's reputation. [8]

Gradi always rated the footballing brain of Murphy, and used to send him on scouting missions even as a trainee. Murphy made his debut as a 16-year-old substitute in December 1993, coming off the bench at Valley Parade against Bradford City in a Football League Trophy tie. Murphy scored on his home debut for Crewe, the winner in a 4–3 win against Preston North End. Murphy generally played as a deep-lying forward for Crewe, scoring several spectacular long range and set piece goals. While at Gresty Road, Murphy formed a prolific partnership with striker Dele Adebola.[ citation needed ]

Many top flight clubs had their eye on Murphy before his eventual move to Liverpool. Before he left, he helped Crewe reach the second tier of English football for the first time since 1896, as Crewe finished third in Division Two, before going on to defeat Brentford 1–0 at Wembley in the 1997 play-off final. [9]


Murphy in Liverpool kit during Jamie Carragher's testimonial match (2010) Danny Murphy 2010.jpg
Murphy in Liverpool kit during Jamie Carragher's testimonial match (2010)

After signing for Liverpool in 1997, for an initial fee of £1.5 million, he made his debut as a substitute on the opening day of the 1997–98 season in a draw with Wimbledon. However, he did not break into the first team squad immediately and, after making just one league appearance for the club during the following season, he returned to Crewe for a successful period on loan, during which he helped save his old club from relegation. After the loan period ended, he looked set to be sold but he went on to become a first-team regular at Anfield.[ citation needed ]

Though naturally a central midfield player, Murphy often played as a wide midfielder due to the fierce competition for places, most notably from Steven Gerrard and Dietmar Hamann. Murphy's career at Liverpool included a unique cup treble in 2001 (where Liverpool won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup), a Premier League second-place finish in 2002 and a second League Cup in 2003. During the 2001–02 season, when he established himself as a key member of the side, Liverpool's assistant manager Phil Thompson praised Murphy, citing his versatility and describing him as 'probably the most tactically aware player that we have.' [10] Although the 2002–03 season was overall a disappointing one for Liverpool, with the club slumping to fifth in the table after a lengthy winless run in mid-winter, Murphy had a fine individual campaign which saw him score 12 goals and be voted the supporters' player of the season. [11] He also started the 2003 Football League Cup Final as Liverpool defeated Manchester United, having missed the 2001 final due to injury. [12] [13]

He developed a notable habit of scoring the deciding goal in 1–0 wins against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a feat he achieved three times in four seasons (2000–01, [14] 2001–02 [15] and 2003–04). [4]

Charlton Athletic

Murphy signed for Charlton Athletic from Liverpool for £2.5 million on a four-year contract in August 2004. [16] In his first season at Charlton, Murphy struggled to recapture the form that he had shown at Liverpool. However, in the first three months of the 2005–06 season he emerged as a viable option for England once more, and also won the September player of the month award, scoring several goals along the way.[ citation needed ]

Tottenham Hotspur

On 31 January 2006, Murphy was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur for £2 million. [17] He appeared only fleetingly in the remaining games of the season. Murphy scored his first Tottenham goal in the 2–1 defeat of Portsmouth on 1 October 2006 after only 39 seconds of the game. [18]

He scored his second goal for Tottenham when Jermain Defoe was injured in a pre-match warm-up against Newcastle United; manager Martin Jol brought Murphy into a 4–5–1 formation. Murphy scored with a scissors kick which hit Steven Taylor in the face, deflecting it past goalkeeper Shay Given. [19] After several months, the FA decided to take the goal away from Murphy and put it down as an own-goal for Taylor.[ citation needed ]

Murphy was unable to establish himself as a regular at Tottenham, but made clear later that despite reports in the media, there was no disagreement between him and Jol. [20]


Murphy prepares to take a corner against one of his former clubs, Liverpool Danny Murphy.JPG
Murphy prepares to take a corner against one of his former clubs, Liverpool

Fulham took over Murphy's Tottenham contract on 31 August 2007. [21]

Murphy cemented himself as a regular starter, kept his place in the team throughout the season and scored six goals in 43 matches. One goal, a rare header scored on 11 May 2008, gave Fulham a 1–0 win away at Portsmouth and ensured their Premier League survival at the expense of Birmingham City and Reading; [22] the goal was scored as manager Roy Hodgson prepared to substitute Murphy.[ citation needed ] Following the match, Murphy highlighted Hodgson's "key role" in the team's avoiding relegation. [23] Murphy signed a new one-year contract, with an option for a further year, at the end of the season, [24] and was appointed club captain for 2008–09. [25]

On 9 November 2008, Murphy scored his 100th goal at club level from the penalty spot, as Fulham beat Newcastle United 2–1. [26] Murphy scored another penalty as, for the first time in 45 years, Fulham beat title-chasing Manchester United at home. [27]

Murphy converts a penalty kick against Aston Villa on 9 May 2009. Danny Murphy scores a penalty against Villa.jpg
Murphy converts a penalty kick against Aston Villa on 9 May 2009.

The year's option on Murphy's contract was taken up during the season, [28] but in August 2009, amid reported interest from clubs including Birmingham City and Stoke City, [29] he signed another extension, until June 2011. [30] Murphy missed two months in the early part of the season with a knee ligament problem, [31] but went on to captain Fulham to their first European final. They eliminated opponents including Juventus, defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, and Hamburg to reach the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final. Ahead of the semifinal, Murphy said that just reaching the final "would be one of the greatest achievements of our history". [32] Fulham lost 2–1 to Atlético Madrid to a goal scored just four minutes from the end of extra time. [33]

Murphy in a match against Norwich City in the 2011-12 season Danny Murphy Fulham v Norwich.jpg
Murphy in a match against Norwich City in the 2011–12 season

The 2010–11 season started without Hodgson, who left for Liverpool, and was replaced by Mark Hughes. In October, Murphy made a controversial comment about managers responsible for dangerous tackles made by players. [34] His comment was supported by some, [35] but received heavy criticisms from other managers. [36] In response to these criticisms, Murphy said his comments "were blown out of all proportion". [37] In late-January 2011, Murphy signed another contract extension that will extend until 2012. [38] Just one day after signing a new contract, Murphy scored his first goal of the season and then another, as Fulham beat his former club Tottenham 4–0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup. [39] Murphy was praised by Manager Mark Hughes for helping the club turn things around and avoid relegation. [40]

Ahead of the 2011–12 season, Murphy believed he could play a major role and declared himself "fitter than ever". [41] After making forty-nine appearance and scoring seven times in all competitions, he was released by Fulham at the end of the 2011–12 season as he and Martin Jol, who had replaced Hodgson's successor, Hughes, could not agree on a contract extension. [42] In his last season at Craven Cottage, Murphy created more goalscoring chances than any other player in the top-flight. [43]

Blackburn Rovers

Murphy signing autographs at Blackburn Rovers in 2013 DannyMurphyBlackburnRovers.JPG
Murphy signing autographs at Blackburn Rovers in 2013

On 25 June 2012, Blackburn Rovers confirmed the signing of Murphy on a two-year contract. [44] He was unveiled on 2 July 2012, wearing the same number 13 squad number that he wore throughout his career, therefore also taking Mark Bunn's number. Murphy said that he moved to Blackburn Rovers for first team football and said it was the right time to leave Fulham. [45]

He scored his first goal for Blackburn in a 2–2 draw with Huddersfield Town on 6 November 2012. [46] His second goal came in the FA Cup against Bristol City on 5 January 2013. [47] In March 2013, Murphy was succeeded as Blackburn captain by Scott Dann. [48]

On 1 July 2013, Murphy had his contract terminated by mutual consent despite being willing to stay at the club for another season. [49] [50] While at the club, Murphy was praised by manager Gary Bowyer for his assistance during Bowyer's management career at Blackburn Rovers. [51]

International career

Murphy was capped nine times for England and scored one goal. He made his debut in a friendly match against Sweden in November 2001, and scored his only international goal in a 4–0 victory over Paraguay in April 2002. Having been called up as a replacement for injured club teammate Steven Gerrard, he was set to play at the 2002 World Cup, but had to withdraw from the squad after he suffered a metatarsal injury similar to that which had affected England teammates David Beckham and Gary Neville in the run-up to the tournament.

Post-playing career

On 18 August 2013, Murphy appeared as a new pundit on the BBC show Match of the Day . [52] He announced his retirement as a player on 10 October 2013, with the intention of continuing his media work and completing his coaching badges. [53]

He has established a career as a pundit on the UK radio station Talksport. [54]

Personal life

Murphy with his daughter, Mya Danny Murphy 2009.jpg
Murphy with his daughter, Mya

Murphy married actress Joanna Taylor in 2004. They have two children. The couple separated in 2017. [55]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition [56]
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Crewe Alexandra 1993–94 Third Division 122000000122
1994–95 Second Division 355000000355
1995–96 42100000004210
1996–97 45104320002 [lower-alpha 1] 05313
Liverpool 1997–98 Premier League 160100000170
1998–99 1000201040
1999–2000 233202300276
2000–01 27451541014710
2001–02 36620101522 [lower-alpha 2] 0568
2002–03 36731421221 [lower-alpha 3] 05612
2003–04 315212270428
Crewe Alexandra (loan) 1998–99 First Division 161000000161
Charlton Athletic 2004–05 Premier League383312100435
2005–06 184003100215
Tottenham Hotspur 2005–06 Premier League100000000100
2006–07 122103030192
Fulham 2007–08 Premier League335111000356
2008–09 385511100447
2009–10 2553000112367
2010–11 370322000422
2011–12 363210011 [lower-alpha 4] 3497
Blackburn Rovers 2012–13 Championship 331210000352
Career total6008140133016701050745120
  1. Appearances in play-offs
  2. Appearances in 2001 FA Charity Shield and 2001 UEFA Super Cup
  3. Appearances in 2002 FA Community Shield
  4. Includes match in UEFA Cup, away to Dnipro on 25 August 2011, which is not included at Soccerbase as of 4 September 2020.



Crewe Alexandra




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Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brian McBride
Fulham captain
Succeeded by
Brede Hangeland
Preceded by
Paul Robinson
Blackburn Rovers captain
Succeeded by
Scott Dann