One of William Murphy’s closest friends in football is backing the defender to return to the Linfield first-team.
Chris Morgan, who knows ‘Winkie’ as both a team-mate and an opponent, believes the defender’s attitude will see him recover from being fined an transfer listed by the club and regain favour with manager David Jeffrey.
The pair were together at Linfield for five years before Morgan moved on to Glentoran, Newry City and Dungannon Swifts, who were his last club before retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season.
“Without knowing the full story, I am surprised at what happened,” said Morgan.
“I’ve always known Winkie as someone who’s as professional as you will get. He looks after himself and makes sure he is as well prepared physically as he can be.
“When he’s been out of the team he’s always been someone who went the extra mile to get back in.
“It would be sad if this was to be the end for him at Linfield, but I don’t think it will be.
“He’s a strong person, a tremendous fighter with an amazing will to win and I think he’ll be determined to fight now to get back to where he was.”
Morgan found out exactly how strong Murphy was during the half a dozen seasons he then faced him after leaving Windsor Park.
“As an opponent he was probably the most difficult I ever came up against because he pretty much has everything,” said Morgan.
“He’s very physically strong, is good in the air and has a bit of pace as well.
“Obviously you get your traditionally strong and physical centre-halfs, who I would have preferred playing against, but Winkie’s strength was harder to counteract because he’s clever and is quite quick too.”
Alan Mannus kept goal behind Murphy for seven years before leaving Linfield for Shamrock Rovers and like Morgan saw a man determined to win.
“He’s a tough player and a tough person, but a good player and a good person too,” said Mannus.
“He’s a real leader, the type of person you want in the dressing room and someone who was well respected in the dressing room.
“I’ve seen him pick up injuries because he would never pull out of anything because he’s such a winner.”