Erik ten Hag

Erik: Recognition for Murphy is 'fantastic'

Wednesday 03 May 2023 12:58

Erik ten Hag says it is 'fantastic' to see Jimmy Murphy get the recognition he deserves, in the form of a statue at Old Trafford.

The permanent monument to our former assistant manager, by sculptor Alan Herriott, is to be unveiled on Wednesday afternoon, outside the Stretford End.

The location of the statue is close to where Murphy would coach the Busby Babes on a cinder training pitch. Jimmy, who passed away in 1989, has the media building at our Carrington training ground, and our Under-18s Player of the Year award, named after him, but this is a significant visual reminder to fans of the influence he had on our great team of the 1950s.

Murphy managed to keep the side going after Matt Busby was gravely injured in the Munich Air Disaster, helping steer us to an unlikely FA Cup final against Bolton Wanderers - a game which took place 65 years ago today (03 May).

Busby, of course, returned to the helm and, with Murphy at his side, won the European Cup 10 years later. But the work of Jimmy - who never sought the limelight - in rebuilding United must never be forgotten, according to Erik.

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“I think it's very good that the club gives so much honour and recognition to a main person in the history of Manchester United,” he said.

“It's about - he stands for more symbols. [He’s a] symbol of youth, youth development.

“He stands for resilience and determination and they are the standards for Manchester United.

“It's driven by this person after the Munich [Air Disaster]. The club was devastated.

“They bounced back and this person played a main role.

“It is totally deserved he gets honoured for this and the club is doing that with the Jimmy Murphy Centre, the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year [award] and now a statue. It's fantastic.”

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Fans can attend today’s event, which begins at 16:30 BST, with the ceremony starting half an hour later and running until 17:30 BST.

Stadium announcer Alan Keegan is the compere and the unveiling will feature words from the club and the Murphy family.

Signs will be erected to guide fans into an area to congregate and there will also be complimentary soft drinks supplied for those in attendance.