Tonight Giants legendary goalkeeper, Stephen Murphy, hosts his Testimonial at the SSE Arena. Boomerang Corner Stalwart, and former goal judge, Allan Price reflects on why he thinks “Murph” deserves all the appreciation he gets from the Giants faithful.
Anyone that knows me knows I’m a Goalie guy. Always have, always will be.
Plenty have come and gone. Some have been hits, some have been misses.
Murph however made a lasting impression on me from the get go. He had a great first year in Teal, being top in both GAA (2.24) & SVS% (.923) He would go on to help the Giants win the Playoff trophy that season.
Needless to say, I was a fan. This appreciation would only grow as time went on, as would my Murphy game worn collection.
From September 2010 I spent the guts of 6 seasons goal judging at the bridge end as a member of the game crew. It allows you to see the game in a completely different light. It’s as close as you could ever get to being in goal for your home team without actually suiting up.
During my time at the bridge end I got to see at least 150+ Giants games (probably more), the majority having Murph in the net right in front of me for 40 minutes a night.
Some of those nights were better than others, but I got to see more than I ever had before just what it takes to be a top goalie.
Covering your angles, coming out to take on an attacking player, fighting screens on a PK, split second reactions, rebound control..the list could go on and on.
Fast forward to today, Feb. 19th 2019. We get to celebrate a true Giants Legend. A man who has helped bring 2 league trophies to Belfast, when it was said a Brit couldn’t.
Though Beskomania may be running wild amongst the Teal Army this season, and Murph isn’t playing as much as I’m sure he’d like to be. His service to our club/city has and continues to be up there with the very best to ever pull on the Teal jersey.
To me, there is and only ever will be one..
Stephen Murphy’s Testimonial, TONIGHT at the SSE Arena at 7pm.
Words: Allan Price Pictures: William Cherry / PressEye