John Murphy Player Profile

Player Details



Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1931-1932 28 7 0 0 53.6% 17.9% 28.6%
1930-1931 37 36 0 0 51.4% 21.6% 27.0%
1929-1930 33 13 0 0 51.5% 6.1% 42.4%
Totals: 98 (0) 56


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Recent First Team Starts
 23/04/32 vs. Newry (H) 3 - 0
 16/04/32 vs. Linfield (A) 0 - 4
 09/04/32 vs. Ards (H) 4 - 1
 02/04/32 vs. Cliftonville (A) 3 - 2
 29/03/32 vs. Derry City (H) 2 - 2

 Recent First Team Goals
 19/03/32 vs. Larne (H) 3 - 1
 13/02/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H) 5 - 0
 28/11/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H) 3 - 1
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H) 6 - 4
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A) 4 - 0

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 19/03/32 vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 13/02/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  5 - 0
 28/11/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H)  3 - 1
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 4
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 0
 03/10/31 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  7 - 0
 26/09/31 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 1
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 25/04/31 vs. Larne (A)  4 - 3
 18/04/31 vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 18/04/31 vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 11/04/31 vs. Coleraine (A)  3 - 2
 11/04/31 vs. Coleraine (A)  3 - 2
 21/03/31 vs. Ards (A)  3 - 3
 14/03/31 vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 4
 28/02/31 vs. Portadown (H)  4 - 4
 11/02/31 vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 2
 21/01/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  6 - 1
 06/12/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 3
 29/11/30 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 25/10/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 27/09/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 20/09/30 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  6 - 3
 20/09/30 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  6 - 3
 20/09/30 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  6 - 3
 13/09/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 4
 06/09/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  7 - 1
 06/09/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  7 - 1
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 23/08/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 23/08/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 20/08/30 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 4
 26/04/30 vs. Glentoran (A)  4 - 4
 21/04/30 vs. Glenavon (H)  1 - 3
 12/04/30 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  3 - 0
 12/04/30 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  3 - 0
 22/02/30 vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 0
 15/02/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N)  3 - 1
 29/01/30 Round 1 vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 5
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 14/12/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 0
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 23/04/32 vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 16/04/32 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 4
 09/04/32 vs. Ards (H)  4 - 1
 02/04/32 vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 2
 29/03/32 vs. Derry City (H)  2 - 2
 28/03/32 vs. Glenavon (A)  3 - 1
 19/03/32 vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 12/03/32 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 2
 27/02/32 vs. Bangor (A)  0 - 2
 24/02/32 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  0 - 2
 20/02/32 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 2
 13/02/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  5 - 0
 28/12/31 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  1 - 1
 25/12/31 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 19/12/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 1
 12/12/31 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 3
 09/12/31 Final vs. Coleraine (N)  0 - 3
 28/11/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H)  3 - 1
 21/11/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  2 - 2
 14/11/31 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 3
 07/11/31 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 31/10/31 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 2
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 4
 21/10/31 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  3 - 0
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 0
 03/10/31 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  7 - 0
 26/09/31 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 1
 19/09/31 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  6 - 2
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 25/04/31 vs. Larne (A)  4 - 3
 18/04/31 vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 11/04/31 vs. Coleraine (A)  3 - 2
 07/04/31 vs. Glentoran (H)  1 - 5
 06/04/31 vs. Newry (A)  0 - 1
 28/03/31 Final vs. Linfield (N)  0 - 3
 21/03/31 vs. Ards (A)  3 - 3
 14/03/31 vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 4
 07/03/31 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 2
 28/02/31 vs. Portadown (H)  4 - 4
 14/02/31 vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 5
 11/02/31 vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 2
 07/02/31 Semi final vs. Derry City (N)  2 - 1
 21/01/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  6 - 1
 10/01/31 Quarter final vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 25/12/30 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  5 - 1
 20/12/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 13/12/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 3
 06/12/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 3
 29/11/30 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 1
 22/11/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 01/11/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  6 - 2
 25/10/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/10/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 04/10/30 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 0
 27/09/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 20/09/30 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  6 - 3
 17/09/30 Quarter final vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 5
 13/09/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 4
 06/09/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  7 - 1
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 30/08/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 1
 23/08/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 20/08/30 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 4
 14/05/30 vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 2
 10/05/30 vs. Bangor (H)  0 - 2
 03/05/30 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 2
 26/04/30 vs. Glentoran (A)  4 - 4
 22/04/30 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 2
 21/04/30 vs. Glenavon (H)  1 - 3
 19/04/30 vs. Newry (A)  2 - 1
 12/04/30 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  3 - 0
 05/04/30 vs. Ards (A)  0 - 2
 29/03/30 Final vs. Linfield (N)  3 - 4
 08/03/30 vs. Coleraine (A)  2 - 2
 22/02/30 vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 0
 19/02/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  1 - 3
 15/02/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N)  3 - 1
 29/01/30 Round 1 vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 5
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  6 - 3
 22/01/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 2
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 26/12/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  7 - 4
 25/12/29 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 3
 21/12/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 4
 14/12/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 0
 07/12/29 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 30/11/29 Round 1 vs. Derry City (A)  4 - 1
 23/11/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 5
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1
 09/11/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 0
 02/11/29 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 3
 26/10/29 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  0 - 1
 12/10/29 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 1


Biography

Ballymena’s first star Scottish striker John ‘Spud’ Murphy came to the Showgrounds and scored with regularity during the early 1930’s.

Born in Govan, John was late to the senior game having served in the Army during the First World War through his early adulthood. Aged 21, Murphy returned to his homeland and in the summer of 1919, he joined junior league side St Anthony’s in Govan, a club renowned for producing a host of senior players and Scottish internationals. In fact, he was brought in to replace forward John Gilchrist who had just transferred to Celtic for the 1919/1920 campaign.

After just a handful of games for St. Anthony’s, John impressed so much that he had the pick of no less than four senior clubs vying for his signature. In September, the forward signed for Heart of Midlothian and made no time in impressing the Tynecastle crowd by scoring twice on his debut against Clydebank in a 4-2 home win in front of 17,000 fans. It was the start of a remarkable debut season as John scored 14 goals in 19 appearances for the Edinburgh club during the 1919/1920 season, despite Hearts finishing in deep the bottom half of the final standings.

The 1920/1921 season started in the same style that the previous one finished, as Murphy scored in a memorable 5-1 win over rivals Hibernian at Tynecastle and followed it up with his first senior hat-trick against Ayr United the following the week. It sparked a massive upturn in Hearts’ fortunes as they finished third in the table, with Murphy an ever present in the team that narrowly missed out in a place in the Scottish Cup Final, losing the semi-final to eventual winners Partick Thistle after a second replay.

After the instant impact in his first two seasons, the third season (1921/1922) proves more difficult through both injury and a loss of form as John only managed eight appearances, scoring three goals as the club barely avoided relegation to the Second Division. The forward was also loaned out to St. Mirren for a short spell in March 1922, but did not make any first team appearances for the Paisley side.

John returned to the side as a regular during the 1922/1923 campaign but never really hit the heights of his early years at Tynecastle over the next two seasons (1922/1923 & 1923/1924) as the club returned to their mid-table standing in the First Division. Murphy’s final goal for Hearts came in a memorable 3-0 win over Rangers in front of 32,000 fans in September 1925 at Tynecastle, he had scored 40 goals in 148 appearances for the club.

In December 1925, the now 27-year-old was transferred to First Division rivals Motherwell for an undisclosed four figure sum after seven seasons at Hearts. The move to Fir Park didn’t prove to be a fruitful one as only three goals in 18 appearances over the space of a year in a Motherwell team that was ascending the table, as they eventually finished runners-up in the 1926/1927 season.

By this stage, the nightmare had already ended for Murphy, who had transferred again in December 1926, joining Kilmarnock, helping Killie avoid relegation that same season. He scored 10 goals in 45 appearances at Rugby Park before in September 1928, Murphy made his first foray across the Irish Sea, as he joined Coleraine on loan. After waiting for almost a month, he turned out for his Bannsiders’ debut in a 2-0 defeat to away Larne, it would be the first of a successful spell of 27 appearances and 15 goals in the Irish League.

Murphy was lured back towards the Braid the following season, joining the Irish Cup holders in their second full season in the Irish League. It took a bit of adjustment playing in the talented forward line of the Light Blues alongside prolific goalscorers Shiels and McCambridge and Scottish international Joe Cassidy, as it was five full games before he bagged his first goal in a 2-1 win over Glentoran at the Oval. John bagged a hat-trick against Cliftonville in December 1929 and was part of the team that narrowly lost the Irish Cup final to Linfield in March at Celtic Park and his form earned him a place in the Irish League representative panel for a 6-1 win over the League of Ireland at Dalymount Park in March 1930.

Following a reasonable return of 13 goals in his first term at the Showgrounds he became the figurehead of the Ballymena attack, following the departure of Jimmy McCambridge to Everton, scoring a staggering 36 goals in 37 appearances during the 1930/1931 season, which included five hat-tricks! Ballymena finished in a strong fifth position placing in the Irish League standings, yet once again were runners-up in the Irish Cup in their third consecutive showpiece appearance.

A financial tightening at the Showgrounds in the summer of 1931 meant that Murphy and some other prominent team-mates could not agree terms for the new season and as a result the 33-year-old top scorer was permitted to join League of Ireland club Shelbourne in July, a move regarded as ‘deplorable’ by the local press.

However, only a month into the new season and after only a handful of games for Shels, Murphy – having attended some of Ballymena’s early season fixtures – agreed terms in September 1931 for the remainder of the season joining a strong Scottish influx of players in the new look team. Disappointingly, both player and team failed to reach the heights of their recent success with a return of only seven goals and another runners-up medal, this time in the Gold Cup following a surprise defeat to Coleraine.

Spud Murphy played his last competitive football match against Newry Town in April 1932, having scored 56 goals in 98 appearances for Ballymena FC. He was released by the club the following month and did not re-sign for any other senior club, bringing down the curtain on a stellar goalscoring career.

Not a lot is known about John Murphy’s life after football or his death. He did maintain a relationship with the club though, as he recommended his son Harry to Ballymena United in 1948, who went onto make 316 appearances and become the first father and son duo to have played for the club.

Career
(1919) St. Anthony’s; (Sep 1919) Heart of Midlothian; (Mar 1922) St. Mirren – loan; (Mar 1925) Hamilton Academical – loan; (Dec 1925) Motherwell; (Dec 1926) Kilmarnock; (Sep 1928) Coleraine – loan; (Oct 1929) Ballymena; (Jul 1931) Shelbourne; (Sep 1931) Ballymena

Honours
(with Heart of Midlothian)
East of Scotland Shield: (winner) 1920/1921
Dunedin Cup: (winner) 1920/1921
Rosebery Charity Cup: (winner) 1920/1921
(with Ballymena)
Irish Cup: (finalist) 1929/1930, 1930/1931
Gold Cup: (finalist) 1931/1932

International Honours
Irish League Representative (1 cap – 1930)

Last updated: 25 January 2024



Debut

October 12th, 1929
Larne 1 - 2 Ballymena United

League (Irish League)


Timeline

    Incorrect DATE value: '0000-00-00'