While Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero steal the headlines for their goal-scoring prowess, a certain 35-year-old is keeping up the pace on the south coast. From non-league to the top flight, Glenn Murray is getting rewarded for his endeavours…
The Englishman has been clinical so far for Brighton this season, shining as one of the league’s top scorers. A journeyman with 9 different clubs on his C.V, previous stints in the Premier League were overshadowed by inconsistency for the veteran. Yet his relationship with The Seagulls has continued to flourish since returning in 2016, becoming a reliable finisher for the south coast side.
Here is the lesser known story of Glenn Murray, a tireless journey, working hard to be where he is today:
Early Career Struggles:
Murray began his career with non-league side Workington Reds. A bizarre move to US second division side Wilmington Hammerheads followed before returning to England with Barrow where he scored 7 goals in as many appearances for the Conference North side.
Despite moving to Carlisle, where The Blues achieved back to back promotions from the Conference and League Two, Murray was a bit part player scoring just 5 goals in 46 appearances for the Cumbrians. A loan move to Stockport also only provided him with 11 appearances. With his career failing to significantly progress, he moved to Rochdale initially on loan in 2006 but eventually permanently.
The forward had finally found form in the football league. 33 appearances with 16 goals in his debut season was impressive for a striker that had scored just 19 goals across his first 5 seasons of professional football. Murray was finally making a step forward in his career after 5 unsuccessful spells with other clubs.
His following season saw a lower return of 10 goals in all competitions, yet in spite of this, Murray had proved he had goal scoring pedigree after a slow start to his career. A goal every two games during his stint for The Dale was attractive enough for Brighton and Hove Albion to part with £300,000 for his services in January.
Consistency and Stability:
After many years of being a journeyman with uncertainty over his future, Murray spent 4 years on the South Coast. 9 goals in his first 6 months for the League One side, including a brace on his home debut, were a sign of things to come from the then 24-year-old.
Injuries hampered the Englishman’s 2008/09 season limiting him to 28 appearances in all competitions. Yet he still managed to score 12 goals, including his first career hat trick in a 3-3 draw with Cheltenham Town.
Murray continued to go from strength to strength in 2009/10 with an improved 14 goals in all competitions. Yet the following season was the where he announced himself to the higher leagues.
Brighton were dominant in 2010/11, with Murray spearheading their attack. His 22 goals, the second best in the league, fired The Seagulls to the League 1 title and promotion to the Championship. Brighton did everything in their power to keep their star striker in the form of his life. However, they could not stop him signing for rivals Crystal Palace on a free transfer in 2011.
A Record Breaking Season:
Murray started life quietly at Selhurst Park scoring just 7 goals in his first season for The Eagles. One of these goals however being a crucial extra-time winner against Manchester United in the League Cup quarter-finals, a memorable goal for him and the club to say the least.
But the 2012/13 was where truly set the Championship alight. A stellar 30 goal campaign, the record for most goals scored by a player in a Championship season that he still holds to this day, fired Palace to the playoff places. Despite the Eagles winning promotion via the playoffs, the Englishman missed the final through a serious knee injury, keeping him out until February 2014.
On the Move:
After his incredible season in the Championship, Murray made just the 14 appearances in all competitions in 2013/14 season hindered by injury.
A 6-month loan back to the Championship with Reading followed for the forward to get his form back. 8 goals in 18 games was an impressive return, so he returned to Selhurst Park in form for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. 7 goals in 20 games was a decent tally for Murray, with crucial goals against Manchester City and Liverpool guaranteeing famous wins for his side.
Just 3 games in all competitions followed in 2015/16 before AFC Bournemouth signed him for £4 million. Yet he lasted just 1 season at the Vitality Stadium with 4 goals in 22 appearances being a below average return. Despite the winning goal against Chelsea, Murray was struggling to make an impact before an old friend appeared.
Return to the Seaside:
Murray returned to the AMEX Stadium and the Championship on a season-long loan in 2016/17. A brilliant first 6 months convinced the Seagulls to sign him permanently in January. 23 goals in all competitions for the veteran inspired Brighton to their first ever promotion to the Premier League. Once again Murray had been the catalyst to a promotion and he was back in the top flight for 2017/18.
His return to the Premier League was far different to the previous times. 14 goals in all competitions helped keep the newly promoted Seagulls up in their inaugural Premier League season. Finally, Murray had found consistency at the top level, playing week in week out and doing what he does best, putting the ball in the back of the net.
This Season so Far:
The forward has started the season strongly with 6 goals in 10 appearances thus far, already up there with some of the league’s top scorers. He recently scored his 100th goal for the Seagulls, an impressive feat in just over 200 appearances for them.
We’re not insinuating Murray is world class, but his journey from non-league to the top flight is nothing short of impressive. An EFL legend with his records and promotions, but now he is a 35 year old striker holding his own for Brighton. Glenn Murray’s story is certainly inspiring…