Friday, 7 December 2007

Danny Murphy - First Chester Schoolboy to play for England

Danny Murphy

Famous for launching Ian Rush's footballing career and being the birthplace of England star Michael Owen, the City of Chester have numerous connections with English Football's finest players. But the connection to the city with current Liverpool player Danny Murphy holds a link more special than all the rest. He has never played for Chester City Football Club, but City born Danny is the first former Chester Schoolboy player to win full England International honours.

Chester Schools Football Association paid tribute to Murphy in November 2001 after the City youngster made his England debut as an impressive second half substitute in the friendly with Sweden at Old Trafford on 10th November, 2001. The former Kingsway High School Student, who has now played well over 100 games for Liverpool, was first spotted by Dario Gradi at Crewe. Danny Murphy has resurrected an Anfield career that was seemingly drawing to a close at one point. Signed from Crewe Alexandra for £2 million in 1997, after impressing alongside Michael Owen for England in the World Youth Championships, he arrived with a reputation as one of the most promising youngsters in the game.

However, with competition for first team places at Liverpool so tough he struggled to establish himself as nothing other than a fringe player and was loaned back to Gresty Road at the tail end of the 1998/99 season. His Liverpool days were seemingly numbered but on his return the following season he finally made the break though into the first team, scored his first goals for the club and staked a claim for a regular place in the starting line-up.

Whatever Danny Murphy goes on to achieve in football he is already assured of everlasting fame at Anfield thanks to his superbly struck free-kick that earned the merseysiders a coveted first win in ten years against Manchester United at Old Trafford in December 2000. A scorer of spectacular goals, Danny possesses skill and vision and his equally adept playing in midfield or attack. A cruel injury blow forced him to miss out on Liverpool's Worthington Cup final win in 2001 but he figured in the memorable cup final triumph's over Arsenal and Alaves that year as the merseysiders completed an historic treble cup win haul.

Danny continues to play an integral part in the Liverpool squad and have pride in paying tribute to this talented Cestrian.

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