Murphy's magical farewell
Paddy Murphy had to spin his magic one final time before signing off at the end of an honours-laden 21 years in charge of Blofield United. His team gave him a fitting send-off by thrashing Wroxham Reserves 5-0 at the Recreation Ground.
Paddy Murphy had to spin his magic one final time before signing off at the end of an honours-laden 21 years in charge of Blofield United.
His team gave him a fitting send-off by thrashing Wroxham Reserves 5-0 at the Recreation Ground. But only after a scoreless first half which forced him to give them one last rant for old time's sake. And Paul Warman, one of the men with the unenviable task of taking over the reins, was among those who got the full blast.
“Laying in bed on Saturday morning I thought to myself 'I'm really going to enjoy myself today. I'm not going to get upset about anything,'” said Murphy. “But I ended up having to go in at half-time and be a little heavy. I even had a go at Paul Warman for not going in with everything for a header. He responded by going straight out and heading a goal.”
The “apprenticeship”, as Murphy calls it, will be over for Warman and Paul Nash next season as they try to maintain a success story which has seen Blofield win five Sterry Cups (as champions of the Anglian Combination) and two Mummery Cups, the most recent of them last Monday.
“It was time to let someone else have a go,” said the departing 59-year-old, who leaves with just one regret, that he never took the club to a Norfolk Senior Cup final.
“If I could know for certain that we'd get to Carrow Road next season I would probably have carried on,” he joked. “Losing four semi-finals, including penalty shoot-outs, was just gut-wrenching, especially as I know that if Blofield got there the support we have would make it a very special evening. ”
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His proudest moment was completing a Premier Division season unbeaten when Blofield won the Sterry Cup in 2005. But he's also proud of the reason he has never, despite all his success, been lured to the Ridgeons League.
“Now and again I've thought it would be lovely to go somewhere and just run a team and not have to worry about all the other things,” he said. “But if I'm honest, nowhere could match Blofield.
“We've got fantastic support and one of the wonderful things about Blofield is that it is still run the old-fashioned way. It's all down to volunteers - and everything we've achieved, both on and off the field, has been done without anyone being paid for anything.”
Blofield's other scorers on Saturday, when they collected their third league runners-up trophy, were Dan Wynne (two), Ross Durrant and Ian Stones.