AFTER playing more than 600 games and winning nine England caps, Danny Murphy has announced his retirement from football.
Former Kingsway High School pupil Murphy played for Crewe, Liverpool, Charlton, Tottenham, Fulham and Blackburn during his 20-year career.
Murphy grew up in Newton and was marked out as one to watch from an early age when he played for junior club NewScene.
In 1992 he became the first footballer from Chester to play for England Schoolboys in almost 70 years.
He has been working as a pundit in the media since leaving Blackburn in June and the 36-year-old has now decided to hang up his boots.
"There have been some press reports about whether I'm still playing or available but I decided a little while ago I would retire, I just didn't make it official," he told talkSPORT.
“So now I'm officially retiring because I'm sick of having conversations about it and almost stringing people along. I decided three or four weeks ago I was done.
"This is me, 20 years, I'm done. I've had a wonderful career and can look back on it with fondness."
Murphy came through the ranks with Crewe and moved to Liverpool in 1997. He won the FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup during his time at Anfield and helped Fulham reach the Europa League final in 2010.
Geoff Reynolds MBE, who has been heavily involved with Chester Schools FA and Cheshire Schools FA for more than 50 years, followed his rise from schoolboy to international footballer closely.
He said: “He was an outstanding player. Right from the outset he showed enormous promise.
“He was one of those boys who at a very young age had his own opinions on other players. I remember he want to Crewe and the manager Dario Gradi told me he would sit next to him and tell him this players wasn’t playing well or that player wasn’t good enough.
“Danny was very good as a youngster and it was a great honour for Chester and Cheshire schools football when he played for England Schoolboys.”
Mr Reynolds, who lives in Burton Green, said Murphy would be remembered as one of the best footballers to have come from Cheshire.
He said: “I remember a night game up at Newcastle when the England scouts were watching and Danny scored a brilliant winning goal.
“Harry Huxley was his team manager and I know he is grateful he can say he had an international in his team. Harry has always said Danny was among the best Cheshire has produced. My only regret is that he did not score as many goals as a professional. I have seen him score some excellent goals from outside the box and when I watched him I used to scream ‘shoot Danny’ at the television.”
Murphy is married to actress Joanna Taylor and the couple have a daughter and a son. Murphy has an older son from a previous relationship.
Mr Reynolds, who was a teacher in Chester, said: “He never let himself down and he went on to make a very good career in the game. Footballers are very well paid these days and he worked very hard but I joke that I would not mind some of his money.”