DAVID Murphy, a League Cup winner north and south of the Border with Hibs and Birmingham City, today announced his retirement through injury at the age of just 30.
The full-back was an Easter Road stalwart for three-and-a-half seasons following his recruitment in July 2004 by then manager Tony Mowbray after being released by Middlesbrough.
He went on to play nearly 150 matches for Hibs, earning a reputation for stout defending and an appetite for attacking from the left-flank, which led to seven goals, including a match-winning header against Rangers at Ibrox in 2007 that elevated the capital men to the top of the SPL for the first time in seven years.
In January 2008, the one-time England under-16 cap moved south to Alex McLeish’s Birmingham City in a £1.5
million switch, but not before he helped Hibs land the CIS Cup, their first silverware in 16 years, with a 5-1 hammering of Kilmarnock in March 2007.
He also picked up a winner’s medal as an unused sub when Birmingham beat Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley to lift the Carling Cup in 2011.
However, Murphy, who McLeish admitted he had investigated for Scottish links when he was international manager, suffered a troubled time at St Andrews with injuries, first fracturing his kneecap and then being kept sidelined for ten months with knee cartilage problems. A setback on his return to action in September proved worse than first hoped and, having celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday, the popular defender has taken the decision to hang up his boots.
In a statement, he said: “All of my rehabilitation went as well as it could have done and I managed to return to playing for a brief spell. However, I wasn’t able to sustain the heights of my previous form and as a result I have no option but to retire.
“Having sought advice from the surgeon and medical staff at the football club, I had to make sure in my own mind that I was ready to retire. I have reached that decision and will look forward to the next chapter in my life.”
Meanwhile, Carson Yeung’s conviction on money-laundering charges will have “no impact on the day-to-day operations” at Birmingham, according to acting chairman Peter Pannu.
Yeung, the club’s majority shareholder, was found guilty on five counts of money laundering by a court in Hong Kong on Monday. He was arrested and charged in 2011 having bought the Blues two years earlier, and had denied laundering 720million Hong Kong dollars (£55.4million) through his accounts between 2001 and 2007.
It was just last month he resigned from his position on the boards of the football club, Birmingham City plc
and Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), the club’s parent company.