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PersonalFullname: Francis Murphy
aka: Frank Murphy
Born: 6 Dec 1915
Died: 12 Feb 1984
Signed: 7 Apr 1932 (prov); 11 May 1933 (full)
Left: Feb 1943 (RAF); 1945 (free); Jan 1946 (to Limerick)
Position: Midfield/Outside Left
Debut: Airdrie 2-4 Celtic, League, 7 April 1934
International Caps: 1 (v Netherlands May 1938)
International Goals: 1
BiogFrank Murphy signed for the Bhoys from Croy Celtic in 1932 and went on to stay at Parkhead for the next 13 years.
He was in his time a grossly underestimated player, something that reflected that Celtic had entered a period of decline from their prominence in the first quarter century of success, although there were some great moments & successes too, and Frank more than played his part in them.
The Gartcosh-born outside-left made an instant impact on his first team debut as he hit a double in a 4-2 league win at Airdrie in April 1934.
He broke through in around 1935/36 as a regular, scoring against Rangers in a 2-1 win in Sep 1935, after which he was a starter for the First XI.
Quick and clever Murphy was a superb crosser of the ball and the Celtic attack - in particular Jimmy McGrory - thrived on his excellent deliveries from the left flank. He was equally troublesome to defences with the ball at his feet and with superb close control Murphy loved to take on defenders at pace. Possibly, he was only marginally less talented than the more lauded Jimmy Delaney, but just as good to admire.
Frank had the great knack to take all dead ball situations - penalties, free-kicks and corners. Showed the coaches had full confidence in him to give him such an important task.
Possibly the most famous day for him was when he played in the wonderful Scottish Cup final of 1937, which saw the record crowd for a football attendance. A great win for Celtic and made a landmark for all football.
Despite the talent, he was as a person said to be a quiet unassuming character.
He won places in the wonderful forward line of "Delaney, Buchan, McGrory, Crum, Murphy" of 1936 & 1937, and the great line of "Delaney, MacDonald, Crum, Divers, Murphy" of 1938. Great units well trained by assistant manager (and de facto manager) Jimmy McMenemy, which enabled Murphy to develop and pop up as centre or on the right in attack.
In his one and only Scotland game he managed to grab a goal, so surely deserved further chances. His goal was rated by Alan Breck of the Glasgow Evening Times newspaper as one of the finest goals he had ever witnessed in a long career of reporting football, a burst through the Dutch defence at speed and then a tearing shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance.
After 1938, life became understandably difficult, but the club had also sunk on the pitch, run in a shambolic manner. He never got to repeat the highs during the war years as had occurred just before.
He later went on to serve for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
World War Two had interrupted Frank's Celtic career but by the time he departed Parkhead in 1945 he had played 243 games, scoring 77 goals. In that time he had won two league championships, a Scottish Cup and the Empire Exhibition Trophy. A fine haul.
He was simply a joy to watch and was naturally adored by the Celtic support. Even the opposition fans couldn't help but be entertained by the skills of Frank.
Frank Murphy was a man who loved to pull on the Celtic jersey, something we can all respect and admire.
Many of you will likely not recall Frank, but surprisingly many of you old enough will have heard him, as in his later years Frank was the announcer at Celtic Park. Keeping the link alive.
He passed away in 1984. A great Celt.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||REGIONAL LEAGUE||REGIONAL LEAGUE CUP||SCOTTISH WAR CUP||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticLeague (2)
Empire Exhibition Cup (1)
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