Birthdate: 18 March 1977
Birthplace: Chester, England
Other clubs: Crewe Alexandra (1992-97), Crewe Alexandra (loan 2 / 1999), Charlton Athletic (2004-06), Tottenham Hotspur (2006-07), Fulham (2007-12), Blackburn Rovers (2012-13)
Bought from: Crewe Alexandra
Signed for LFC: £1.5m, 15.07.1997
International debut: 10.11.2001 vs. Sweden
International caps: 9/1 - 16.11.2003
Liverpool debut: 09.08.1997
Last appearance: 15.05.2004
Debut goal: 14.09.1999
Last goal: 02.05.2004
Contract expiry: 10.08.2004
Win ratio: 52.21% W:130 D:60 L:59
Games/goals ratio: 5.66
Honours: FA Cup 2001; League Cup 2003; UEFA Cup 2001
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 13 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 170 / 25
Total LFC games/goals: 249 / 44
Player profile"Super Dan" was capped for England at schoolboy and youth levels, and made his full League debut with Crewe in January 1994. He was a very experienced twenty-year-old, having played 132 matches in the Football League, when he arrived at Roy Evans' Liverpool in July 1997. The attacking midfielder who was a scorer of spectacular goals wanted to get off the mark on his Liverpool debut against Wimbledon but was beaten to the spot by another youngster. "I tried to take that penalty, but Michael Owen took it instead. I don't think I scored again for two-and-a-half or three years!" Indeed Murphy struggled to find his feet at Liverpool, frequently employed up front which made his lack of goals the more frustrating. Lack of opportunities under Houllier forced a loan move back to Crewe in February 1999. Once Murphy returned he finally got his long-awaited goal and then added another in a 5-1 win over Hull in the League Cup on 14 September 1999. "Late in 1999 we tried to advertise for him to go, but no club would take him," said Houllier when he reflected on this difficult time in Murphy's career. "So I said to the Board 'Well, we will keep him then. He is still young and I will talk to him.' Only then did Danny realise he was not helping himself. I am pleased Danny started to do things the right way because then I knew he would become a great player for Liverpool."
In the 2000/01 season Murphy's fortunes at Liverpool turned around and he scored an impressive tally for a midfielder, ten goals in 47 matches, and started both in the UEFA and FA Cup finals having missed the League Cup final through injury. Murphy also made his full international debut against Sweden in November 2001 and altogether made nine international appearances of which eight were friendlies and only one start. Murphy only missed four League games over the next two seasons and was voted the club's best player by Liverpool fans in 2002/03 when he contributed 12 goals. Houllier was more than pleased with his progress "He's definitely not the sitting midfielder, but otherwise he can play anywhere across the midfield," Houllier said. "He's been playing very well this season, creating chances and scoring, too. What I like most about him is the fact that he shows for the ball, asks for the ball, and always wants to be involved. I don't like players who bottle out, and Danny is a fighter."
The 2003/04 season was a big disappointment for everyone including Murphy who started 28 games compared with 55 in the previous campaign. Once Houllier had departed it was altogether clear that Benítez wanted to revitalize the midfield and deemed the 27-year-old surplus to requirements, a harsh treatment of an excellent player like Murphy who could have been vital to the club for years to come. Murphy will certainly forever be cherished among Reds fans for the three goals he scored at Old Trafford, each resulting in 1-0 victories. In December 2000 Murphy's free-kick inflicted United's first defeat at home for two years and Liverpool's first away win over United for ten years! The following season Murphy was at it again, ensuring Liverpool's fifth consecutive win over United five minutes from normal time. Two years later Liverpool were awarded a penalty by Mike Riley at Old Trafford after an hour's play and Murphy stepped up to the spot and scored with confidence. In fact, Murphy scored from all of his eight penalties in his time at Liverpool. In August 2004 Murphy moved to Charlton, preferring them to Tottenham where he couldn't be guaranteed first-team football. Soon after Murphy's departure Benítez brought in Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia making it pretty clear that if Murphy had stayed he would have been a squad player rather than a starter. Murphy played 64 games and scored ten goals for the Addicks in one and a half seasons before eventually moving to Tottenham in the last hour of the last day of the transfer deadline in January 2006.
Murphy spent only one full season at White Hart Lane before agreeing to join another London club, Fulham, in August 2007. Lawrie Sanchez had been the manager when Murphy signed, but he was replaced by Roy Hodgson. In a season of struggle Murphy scored the only goal of the game when Fulham won at Portsmouth on the final day of the season which saved the Cottagers' Premier League status. His most memorable season at Fulham was no doubt 2009/10 when the west-London club finished the League season in a comfortable twelfth place but also, against all odds, progressed right the way through to the first-ever Europa League final in Hamburg, where they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Liverpool's semi-final conquerers, Atletico Madrid. Murphy, named as captain by Hodgson before the start of the 2008/09 season, was a stalwart for the club in the five years he stayed there. Murphy's Fulham contract expired at the end of 2011/12 and the 35-year-old joined recently-relegated Blackburn. Murphy has been a co-commentator on Sky Sports for a few years now and seems ideal for the job as well as being a deep thinker of the game that might go into coaching or management.
Even in his thirty-sixth year, Murphy showed that he was still capable of performing at a good level. Blackburn Rovers had a largely disappointing season in 2012-13 but the midfielder's experience was crucial in helping his club to finish in 17th position but only four points above the third relegation place. Murphy appeared in thirty-three of the forty-six Championship matches and added two more to his total in the FA Cup. Although he had signed a two-year contract with Rovers in 2012, the Lancashire club decided to release him from that contract at the end of its first year, making the 36-year-old a free agent.
On 10 October 2013 Murphy officially announced his retirement as a player.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|7||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|100||27.08.2001||Bolton Wanderers||Reebok Stadium||League|
|1||10||14.09.1999||Hull City||Boothferry Park||League Cup|
From hammyend.com by Danny Fullbrook on 23 June 2012.More
Daily Post report on Hull - Liverpool on 14.09.1999.More
A rather "interesting" article from the yellow press.More
Newcastle and Liverpool were competing for Murphy's signature in 1997. More
"He's definitely not the sitting midfielder, but otherwise he can play anywhere across the midfield. He's been playing very well this season, creating chances and scoring, too. What I like most about him is the fact that he shows for the ball, asks for the ball, and always wants to be involved. I don't like players who bottle out, and Danny is a fighter."
Houllier in December 2002 on Murphy
"We call Danny 'Murphs'. It's been a great year for him. He's played well, got in the England team and scored some great goals. But never mind all that. What about his girlfriend? A lot of the lads have told him he's got a cracker there. I think a few of us are a bit jealous. I think Murphs and John Arne Riise are in a bit of a competition for the prettiest girlfriend actually."
"In the summer of 1999 we sent Danny back on loan to Crewe and when he came back he said he wanted to play on a regular basis. I told him I couldn't promise that and late in 1999 we tried to advertise for him to go, but no club would take him. <p> So I said to the board 'Well, we will keep him then - he is still young and I will talk to him'. Only then did Danny realise he was not helping himself. Once he decided to focus and go the right way, I gave him a chance in the team against Chelsea. We won that game 1-0 and ever since then he has never disappointed me. I am pleased Danny started to do things the right way because then I knew he would become a great player for Liverpool. <p> In the year we won the treble he scored 10 goals, another eight last season and this season he has three already. He has improved as an all-round player and in no case now would we sell him to any other club. He is a Liverpool boy and a Liverpool player."
Houllier on Danny Murphy in 2002/2003
"He was born in the same Chester hospital as me. He’s one of my best mates and I’m thrilled at how he’s done this season. I call him Spud —not a very original nickname for a Murphy — but he hates it."
Owen in 2001 on Murphy
When Benitez was appointed at Liverpool, it was between him and Mourinho. I know that for a fact. Mourinho wanted the Liverpool job massively. But Liverpool basically went with Benitez, because he’d just won the Spanish league title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and they thought that was more solid an appointment than someone who had only done it in Portugal. I know Mourinho was massively disappointed. I’m gutted too because Benitez came in and didn’t want me, I’m just gutted it wasn’t Mourinho because he might have wanted me to stay!
Danny Murphy on talkSPORT in September 2016