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Martin Murray (footballer)

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Martin Patrick Murray (born 6 October 1958) is a retired footballer and manager.
Murray's playing career spanned over 20 years, despite being diagnosed with a faulty heart valve at the age of 19. At club level he played for Home Farm, Everton, Drogheda United, Dundalk, St Pat's Athletic and Crusaders, winning multiple honours, as well as representing the Republic of Ireland up to under-21 level. He later managed Crusaders and Dundalk, winning the FAI Cup with the latter.

Playing career

Club career

Murray began his career with Home Farm in his native Dublin, making his debut as a 16 year old. He was still 16 when he helped Home Farm to win the 1975 FAI Cup, defeating Shelbourne in the final. He then signed for Everton and was hailed as "The New George Best", playing in the FA Youth Cup final defeat to Crystal Palace. However during a loan spell back at Home Farm in 1978, he collapsed and was diagnosed with a faulty heart valve, and the following year, while back at Everton, he ruptured his cruciate ligament in a reserve match against Leeds United.
After a short spell back with Home Farm, Murray signed for Drogheda United. He was involved in the club's first every foray into European football, playing against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Cup. He also won the League of Ireland Cup with the side, but his time there ended on unfortunate note when a car accident ruled him out of the final few weeks of his final season with the Drogs.
In 1984, Murray moved to Dundalk, the club with which he would be most successful in the League of Ireland. He made debut in a friendly against Celtic, and would go on to make 218 appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals. In the 1986–87 season he finished as Dundalk's top scorer with 13 goals. He then won the League of Ireland and FAI Cup the following season, and after several more successful seasons and outings against European giants such as AFC Ajax and Red Star Belgrade, Murray dropped into semi-professional football with Ashtown Villa. However after a short spell he returned to full-time football with St Pat's Athletic in January 1991 for the remainder of the season.
Murray moved to Crusaders in 1991, becoming one of many southern-based players to represent the club during that time period. He had seven successful years with the club, winning two Irish League championships, the Irish League Cup, Gold Cup, Ulster Cup and County Antrim Shield. He made 265 appearances for the club, scoring 18 goals.
After 614 games and 96 goals, Murray finally retired in the summer of 1998 on medical advice, and had heart surgery to repair his heart valve.

International career

Murray represented the Republic of Ireland at under-18 and under-21 level. He scored 3 goals at for the under-21 side against Northern Ireland, Mexico and Yugoslavia.

Managerial career

After retiring as a player, Murray stayed with Crusaders as assistant manager to Aaron Callaghan. For the 1999–2000 season he took over as manager, leading the side to a 7th-placed finish. However, lack of funds at Seaview were a source of frustration to Murray.
While driving up to Belfast for a pre-season meeting, he heard of the managerial vacancy at Dundalk and applied for the job, being appointed in time for the 2000–01 League of Ireland First Division season, in which he led the Lilywhites to the title and promotion to the Premier Division. They were relegated in the 2001–02 season, as the league was reduced from 12 teams to 10, although Murray did lead Dundalk to the club's ninth FAI Cup win one week after their relegation, defeating Bohemians 2-1 in the final. This was Murray's last match as a manager.

Honours

Player

Home Farm
  • FAI Cup: 1974–75
  • Drogheda United
  • League of Ireland Cup: 1983–84
  • Dundalk
    • League of Ireland Premier Division: 1987–88
    • FAI Cup: 1987–88
    • League of Ireland Cup: 1986–87, 1989–90
    Crusaders
    • Irish League: 1994–95, 1996–97
    • Irish League Cup: 1996–97
    • Gold Cup: 1995–96
    • Ulster Cup: 1993–94
    • County Antrim Shield: 1991–92

    Manager

    Dundalk
    • FAI Cup: 2001–02
    • League of Ireland First Division: 2000–01

    Category:Home Farm F.C. players
    Category:Everton F.C. players
    Category:Drogheda United F.C. players
    Category:Dundalk F.C. players
    Category:St Patrick's Athletic F.C. players
    Category:Crusaders F.C. players
    Category:Crusaders F.C. managers
    Category:Dundalk F.C. managers
    Category:Republic of Ireland youth international footballers
    Category:Republic of Ireland under-21 international footballers
    Category:Republic of Ireland association footballers
    Category:Republic of Ireland football managers
     
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