After a 12 year career at the highest level and a man of the match performance in a Play-Off final to get his boyhood side to the Premier League, what do you know about Matt Murray?
A hugely familiar face to football fans across the country and standing at 6ft 6’ tall, Matt Murray will be easily recognisable when he accompanies caretaker Head Coach Paul Harsley in the dug out this weekend.
The Reds will take on Sheffield Wednesday in a massive South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell in the 12.15pm kick-off, with a new look bench. The former Premier League ‘keeper has been with the Reds for a while, working alongside Paul Harsley at U23 level.
Matt began his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers after being born in Solihull and progressing through the academy at Molineux. The stopper was rewarded for his progression through the ranks with a five-year contract at the age of 17, which is still the longest deal awarded to anyone in the academy at the Club.
Making his first team debut in August 2002, Murray quickly established himself as Wolves’ number one in what was to become a memorable season. A thrilling campaign that saw his side fighting for promotion with a strong second half to the season, ended in a Play-Off final against Sheffield United to decide who was promoted to the Premier League. A man-of-the-match performance from Murray, including a vital second half penalty save from Michael Brown resulted in a 3-0 success for his side and the Premier League beckoned.
After his playing career was ended prematurely through injury, Matt lunged himself into broadcasting with Sky Sports and is a regular on their Saturday match coverage across the UK. He can often be seen either in the studio giving his analysis on games, or on the in-vision service reporting live from a designated ground.
However, the 36-year-old has been a key figure at Oakwell working alongside Paul Harsley as a coach whilst remaining in his broadcasting duties, looking to help with the development of the younger generation coming through into the first team. Murray joined the Reds from the well-known Nike Academy, who exist to develop unsigned players and help them find a way back into professional football. The Academy has been a big success across the UK, with Murray playing a large part in players finding their way back into the league.
The former ‘keeper will work as a coach for Paul Harsley, with current first team Goalkeeper Coach John Vaughan remaining at the Club and continuing his fine work.