Brett Ormerod pays tribute to former strike partner John Murphy following surprise decision to leave Blackpool

Brett Ormerod has paid tribute to his former strike partner John Murphy following his decision to end his 18-year association with Blackpool.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 9:24 am

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The commute to Bloomfield Road from Liverpool was “beginning to take its toll”, he went on to say.

The 45-year-old, who made over 200 appearances for the club as a player, scoring 83 times, had been coaching in the academy for 11 years.

The news came as a major shock to Gazette columnist Ormerod, who famously struck up a successful strike partnership with Murphy during his first spell with the club.

“I’ve literally just read it,” he said. “I had no idea.

Ormerod and Murphy struck up a 'telepathic' understanding up front for the Seasiders

“I’ve known Murphs for a long, long time and he’s been in this job for a while. He’s been an absolutely fantastic servant, he’s given his all for that badge and that football club.

“It’s always sad to see someone like him leave and he said it’s with a heavy heart.

“He’s been absolutely brilliant with the youth-team, because there have been a lot of good kids coming through Blackpool. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s played a massive part in that.

“It’s a sad day, but he’s obviously done it for personal reasons. He’s obviously a good friend of mine and he was an invaluable teammate, so I wish him all the best.

“He’s a Scouser born and bred and he’s always travelled. As you get older that journey gets longer and longer. I found that to my detriment when I signed at the back end of my career for Wrexham and I travelled there every day for two years, which absolutely destroyed me in the end.

“Whatever he does in the future, I certainly wish him all the best.”

Ormerod played with some fantastic strikers down the years, but in terms of striking up a natural connection with a forward - he says there were none better than Murphy.

“He was one of the best strike partners I ever had. As a person to play off, he was probably the best,” he said.

“That’s no disrespect to any of the others, because I’ve always said Kevin Phillips was the best striker I played with. But with Murphs it was a partnership and we had a mutual understanding. Paul Simpson is in the mix as well.

“Me and Murphs were both born on the same day and the same year, which was ridiculous. It meant we just had that telepathic understanding and we always seemed to know what each other were doing.

“We always set each other up if we were in better positions, so it was a very unselfish partnership and we always tried to get the best out of each other.

“As a football player, he was my absolute ideal partner.”