Glenn Murray leaves us having generated a huge number of great memories in red and blue. Jack Thurston looks back over an emotional three years for the club and Glenn himself…
In September 2011, Glenn Murray scored the third and final goal against his former employers Brighton & Hove Albion. At their plush new ground, with clappers in hand, they suffered their first defeat to the boys from SE25. Oh what a night.
With Murray scoring 30 league goals in our promotion season, the ensuing years have brought personal accolades, laced with heartbreak. In the first leg of the playoff semi-final against the old enemy at Selhurst, Murray collapsed in a heap, writhing in agony. It was apparent that should we get to Wembley, he would not play a part. As it turned out, he had snapped his anterior cruciate ligament and would miss most of our stellar return to the Premier League.
It is testament to Glenn’s character that we found ourselves swapping him for Kevin Doyle on transfer deadline day. Doyle is a player who last managed more than ten league goals six seasons ago, and was loaned out by League One’s promotion-chasing Wolves last season. Murray is simply not satisfied with warming the bench, in any league, for anyone.
Crystal Palace attempting to stay in the Premier League for a third season comes at a price. Fans often bemoan the lack of loyalty in football – Steve Bruce and John Bostock to name a couple of more recent betrayals. Loyalty works both ways, and if you aren’t going to give a man who scored thirty league goals in a season a run of games then you can’t expect him to hang around, reminiscing on former glories.
Not for one moment am I suggesting that Glenn would definitely be up to the task of undoing Premier League defences but in his eyes and quite rightly so, he deserved a chance. Watching players like Fraizer Campbell (who is not significantly more prolific in any division) arrive, has probably left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Why did Palace fans gravitate to Murray? The answers you will get to that question vary – his 30 league goal season, his goal at the Amex, the fact we smuggled him away from the enemy. All of these reasons are valid.
His rise in professional football is what most impresses me. From Non-League football with Workington Reds to the promised land of the Premier League. He never had a questionable attitude, and always gave maximum effort to the team, in an age of prima-donnas and ‘big time Charlies’.
Murray leaves Palace, temporarily or otherwise, with his head held high. I wish him all the very best at the Madjeski, and I hope he can fire himself back into England’s top division. He deserves at least that.
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