Hibs 21st century XI - The best left-back revealed

“I had three and a half years with Hibs and they were the happiest times of my life."

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 12:03 pm
David Murphy was a consistently excellent performer for Hibs. Picture: SNS

The words of David Murphy - the man Hibs fans voted as the club's best left-back in the 21st century, just ahead of Lewis Stevenson.

Those words carry significance. Murphy played for his boyhood club Middlesbrough, he played in the Premier League and Europe, and won the League Cup in England.

David Murphy was a consistently excellent performer for Hibs. Picture: SNS

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Yet, he remembers Hibs as fondly as fans remember him.

He was part of a "young vibrant squad", as he puts it, which included Derek Riordan, Garry O'Connor, Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Scott Brown.

Murphy wasn't an experienced, guiding hand in the team, he was one of the youngsters having arrived at the club aged 20.

Understandably, much was made of the homegrown talent that had progressed through the academy but the Englishman was just as good as his peers.

Often full-backs are regarded as consistent, putting in a 6 or 7 out of 10 performance on a weekly basis. Murphy was consistently excellent. It is hard to pinpoint the left-back having a disappointing game.

He was one of the most rounded full-backs in the league at the time. Few wingers, if any, got the better of him and when he marauded forward things could and tended to happen. In addition, he was a dab hand at set pieces - the free-kick against St Johnstone in the semi-final of the League Cup or corner kick which Rob Jones headed home top open the scoring in the 5-1 final win over Kilmarnock.

When things weren't going well on the pitch fans could rely on Murphy putting in a solid performance or simply trying to rally the team. He was the comfiest of comfort blankets.

A little more pace could have seen him play at the very top but he made up for that with a touch which one fan compared to that of an angel.

Such high quality performances were always going to attract interest. Celtic wanted the player but he fancied another go at English football, and after 134 games for the Easter Road side he signed for Birmingham City for an initial fee of £1.5million.

He further endeared himself to the club he grew to love by donating his part of the fee back to the club.

Disappointingly he had to retire at the age of 30 due to a knee injury but Hibs fans can be assured that they saw the best of him.