Big John Murphy
Yes, we miss him: 47%
When John Murphy scored Macclesfield's second in their 2-0 win over fellow League Two strugglers Wrexham on Saturday, he may have just kept Paul Ince's side in the Football League, as well as furthering his hero status at the Moss Rose ground; a status that was acquired not only through his famous goal for them at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, but through the crucial, crucial league goals he has scored for them before and since his loan move from Bloomers was made permanent.
However, while Murphs (or Pinhead as he was known to his fellow players at the seaside) may be carving out a new niche for himself in League Two, he won't be forgotten by the Pool faithful for many years to come.
The 30 year old striker began his career at Chester City alongside a perennial thorn in Blackpool's side (apart from on Easter Monday though thankfully!), Luke Beckett. In just 65 league starts at the Deva Stadium, Murphs found the back of the net on 20 occasions.
Such form resulted in then Pool manager Nigel Worthington parting with £50,000 to sign the 6 foot 1 inch striker in August 1999.
During his time at the Pool, Murphs found the back of the net 103 times in 270 starts; certainly a good return for any striker at this level.
There is no doubt that we saw the best of Murphs when he had the likes of Simpson, Wellens, Bullock and Ormerod playing with him; players who'd lay chances on a plate for him. While Murphs wasn't the sort of striker to create chances out of nothing (although those who remember his goal v Oldham at Boundary Park may disagree!), you knew that if you got the ball to him within sight of goal, then chances were that the ball would end up at least on target.
I must admit that I didn't realise how good Murphs' record was until he left the seaside and it now pains me to think that his Pool career ended on such a quiet note with injury and a loan deal and that he's missing out on this fantastic season. Still, as we saw when his departure was announced, he really is held in high regard by many Pool fans and hopefully one day he'll return so we can give him the proper send off he deserves.
Finally, most of you will have probably seen this video, but it really is worth another watch; it's a great tribute to the big man: YOUTUBE VIDEO OF BIG JOHN MURPHY
Thanks John, and all the best.
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