Eventually, all careers must come to an end. Sometimes a player stays at the same club throughout his playing career, others move about regularly. In the case of Danny Murphy he always wanted to play football, even if that meant moving from his boyhood club Liverpool.
The former Reds, Crewe Alexandra, Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Blackburn Rovers midfielder yesterday announced his decision to retire. Here, Sports Mole takes a look at his career.
Crewe Alexandra, 1993-1997
Murphy started his career at his local club Crewe. The club has a good record in bringing through young players and Murphy is certainly one of those. He was considered good enough by manager Dario Gradi to make his debut at the age of 16 and his boss was right; Murphy scored a debut goal. The strike against Preston North End was his first of 27 for Crewe in 132 league games for the club. Then came his big move.
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At the age of 20 it was time for Crewe's starlet to fly the nest. Amid interest from a number of sides in the top flight Murphy was not about to reject the club he loved, Liverpool. The fee was an initial £1.5m and with seven years at the club to come it was money well spent.
Initially he went back to Crewe on loan but soon found himself battling for a place in the Liverpool team. He spent his time on the pitch between his favoured central midfield role and a wide position due to Liverpool's strength in the middle. However, he always gave everything on the pitch; a trait that would define his career.
He was part of the Liverpool side that won the cup treble in 2001. It was a unique three trophies that comprised the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup - the final of which Liverpool beat Alaves 5-4 in a game of non-stop attacking football. Perhaps his greatest achievement at Liverpool, for Reds fans at least, was his knack of settling derbies against Manchester United. He was the only scorer in three 1-0 wins against the Red Devils, the second of which - video below - saw him net a fine lob over Fabien Barthez at Old Trafford from a superb Steven Gerrard pass.
It was at Liverpool where Murphy also received his first call-up to the England squad. He was recognised by then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and handed his debut in a friendly against Sweden in late 2001. He impressed for the Three Lions and bagged a goal in the build-up to the tournament against Paraguay, but a metatarsal injury before the World Cup ruled him out of contention for the tournament.
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Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur, 2007-2007
Having slipped back out of the side on a regular basis, Murphy joined Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2004 for £2.5m. At first he failed to hit the same heights he had managed at times with Liverpool in what was a struggling Charlton side.
However, the following season he got himself back into the England reckoning with a string of fine performances in August and September of 2005. Several goals led to interest from another London club and Murphy hopped across to Spurs in the January transfer window. It was a big move designed to get him fully back into the international set-up, but things did not materialise for him and many suggested that he could no longer cut it in the Premier League. However, he was about to have one more chance.
Lawrie Sanchez, then manager of Fulham, brought him to Craven Cottage in the summer of 2007. Murphy had a torrid start to his time at the club, being isolated game after game as Sanchez employed the type of football that bypassed him in the midfield. With Fulham struggling in the league and relegation a real possibility, in came Roy Hodgson to change the club's and Murphy's fortunes.
Murphy played a huge part in the club's great escape in the second half of the 2007-08 season. He started to be a huge influence from deep in midfield with the ball now on the ground. Fulham were 2-0 down away to Manchester City and relegated at half time, before a second-half comeback incited by Murphy would claw them back from the brink. He scored the equaliser after having his spot-kick saved before threading Diomansy Kamara through the eye of a needle for the winner. What's more, he headed - of all things - the winning goal against Portsmouth to confirm Fulham's survival.
With Murphy as captain, Fulham went from strength to strength and he was at the heart of another fine run, this time in the Europa League. Against all the odds Fulham overcame Hamburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus before falling short in the final to Atletico Madrid. Murphy continued to guide Fulham to consistent league finishes before he was on the move once more after not being guaranteed first-team football by Martin Jol.
Blackburn Rovers and retirement, 2012-present
Murphy joined Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2012, but his time there was not happy. He seemed off the pace and had the fans quickly on his back. As the captain, he could not motivate the players back into the Premier League and at the end of the season he had his contract terminated by mutual consent. Unable to find another club, Murphy called an end to his illustrious career a few months later.
Having done some media work, his next move might well be a pundit. But the footballing brain that many managers have highlighted could still see him remain in the game in a coaching capacity.