Murphy walks off building site to coach the Seasiders

Former Blackpool FC player John Murphy returns to do a prize-draw at Blackpool v Oldham at Bloomfield Road.
Former Blackpool FC player John Murphy returns to do a prize-draw at Blackpool v Oldham at Bloomfield Road.
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BIG John Murphy was working as a labourer in Liverpool 48 hours ago – now he’s the Seasiders’ new first-team coach.

The Pool favourite has returned to Bloomfield Road, his stomping ground for eight years, as a replacement for Steve McPhee, who walked out last week in a row over wages.

Murphy, who scored more than 100 goals in Tangerine, told The Gazette he can’t wait to get started.

And it will be quite a change from what he has been doing.

The 34-year-old told The Gazette: “I’ve been working as a labourer in Liverpool for the last eight months. In fact, I was on a building site when I got the call from Blackpool asking if I was interested in doing some coaching.

“I was in a bit of a daze. I was thinking, ‘Hang on, what’s going on here?’

“But it is a terrific opportunity and it was a no-brainer when it came to giving them an answer.”

Murphy isn’t the only former Seasider to land a coaching role at the club. Two other old favourites are coming back: John Hills is the new youth team coach (replacing the axed Jamie Shorey) and Jamie Milligan is set to become Centre of Excellence manager.

With George Wood newly installed as goalkeeping coach, it is like stepping back in time at Bloomfield Road.

Seasiders secretary Matt Williams said: “It is nice to get people in who are aware of the way Blackpool are, and who are familiar with Squires Gate and the surroundings.

“John Murphy and John Hills have played for the club in recent years and have a close association with the Seasiders. They have been to plenty of games since they left and have a soft spot for Blackpool.

“We like to keep ex-players involved whenever we can – Andy Garner will be doing the half-time draw on Sunday, for example – and I think having these lads on the coaching staff can only be a good thing.”

Murphy has already made the most of his Seasiders connections – getting a lift to Blackpool with close-friend Keith Southern yesterday, when he was introduced to Ian Holloway.

The Pool striker from 1999-2007 added: “As I expected, the manager was very animated and great with the lads. It was good to watch him in action and I’m looking forward to learning from him.

“I haven’t done any coaching before but the club is going to help me get the badges I need. Steve Thompson, in particular, will look after me and show me the ropes.

“I like to think I have a fair bit of knowledge about football and Blackpool FC in particular.

“I’m also looking forward to the everyday involvement. You don’t realise how much you miss it until you start a different job.

“I’ve been used to spending my days in a builder’s hard-hat, working long hours and rotting at home at night, so it is great to be back.”