Danny Murphy opens up on losing his father during regretful Tottenham spell amid ‘toughest year of my career’


Danny Murphy has expressed regret over how his spell at Tottenham panned out, a period he describes as the ‘toughest year of my career’.

Murphy joined Spurs from Charlton in 2006, but struggled to hold down a first-time place at White Hart Lane.

Murphy was unable to make an impact at Tottenham

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Murphy was unable to make an impact at Tottenham

The former Liverpool and England midfielder was forced to deny reports that he had a falling out with manager Martin Jol during his 19-month stint in north London, which saw Murphy sadly lose his father to lung cancer.

It was a subject Murphy kept mainly private at the time, and on Tuesday’s Drivetime the former England international opened up on how the grief affected him.

Underling his biggest regret, Murphy said: “Not showing the Spurs fans what I was capable of. I had a bad time there.

“I lost my dad during that time, and it’s hard to talk about actually. It was a wonderful club with lots of good people and I went there with really good intentions.

“Maybe at the time I should have spoken a bit more to give the fans an understanding.

“That was probably the toughest year of my career that – it really was.”

Jol helped Murphy a lot during some of the darkest moments of his career

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Jol helped Murphy a lot during some of the darkest moments of his career

Murphy revealed that then manager Jol and teammate Robbie Keane helped him immensely during that difficult period – but admitted he could have perhaps communicated better with Spurs fans about his personal tragedy.

He added: “The club were great [with me], Martin Jol was good, Keano [Robbie Keane] was brilliant as he’d lost his father earlier.

“And then I thought the best thing [to do] was to get back on the training pitch as quickly as possible… and it wasn’t. It wasn’t.

“I didn’t understand at the time how bad that was. Not every needs it [talk to someone] and it’s only with hindsight that I can say maybe it would have benefitted me.

“I did talk to Keano and a few people about it. I think [speaking] publicly would have helped, but I don’t know what the right thing [to do] is sometimes.

“Yes, in essence, the message of sharing stuff with people and communicating is one I agree with.

“But with grief it’s a different thing as I’d never experienced it before then. I regretted it because they were so good to me at the club and the fans.

“They were good to me without even knowing the fans. They should have seen better from me, but it’s just one of those things.”

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