A few weeks back, a TSLRite bumped into Glenn Murray at Preston Park twice in one weekend and sent through a photo which we shoved on our Twatter account. Apparently, this is nothing new as Muzza continues to live nearby. Although, he politely declined posing with a copy of Albion’s number one fanzine. Initially we wondered why the TSLRite in question didn’t go off the rails, punch the P****e bastard and ruin the young Murray’s footballing birthday party by pissing on his cake. But then we thought about it a bit further…
Our history of Murray was chequered to say the least. When he arrived for a load of cash back in January 2008 (well, it was back then in the days before £1m signings) the club was about to enter a new era. Falmer had finally been given the go-ahead, the glorious Micky Adams was about to return and The Seagull Love Review had finally given Albion supporters a fanzine it had long deserved. Murray, meanwhile, was a lazy northerner who persistently found himself languidly languishing in a permanent state of offside or injury. And it took him a mighty long time to shed that image. Glenn’s first goals in his opening Withers appearance in February 2008 made amends somewhat but a mixture of injuries - whether they be in his head or around his hamstring - and a seemingly distasteful attitude meant he would never firmly become a fan’s favourite.
Dean Wilkins’ decision to ostracise Murray and leave him out of first team training because of his ‘attitude’ that first season hardly helped. You may remember that our former youth team coach was at the time trying to provide us with some crazy Sussex born footballing dynasty. Some fans down at Withers at the time referred to the regime as the ‘Sussex Youth’. But it wasn't ethical morals that sent him packing. No, Uncle Dick blamed Wilkins for Albion’s inability to scrape into the play-offs in 2008-09 and Russell Salad was in. Wilkins would try his hand at breeding a new race at Southampton.
Muzza redeemed himself the next season by, well, actually he didn’t - he was mainly injured/offside apart from his sojourn at Elland Road when he scored a penalty (above). Glenn only really redeemed himself during the last Withers hurrah. And what a hurrah it was. Murray was a different class under Gus. He stayed onside (well better than in previous years), he scored goals for fun, even his post-match interviews were - oh, no actually, they were just as shite, northern and monotonous as they had always been. But he scored fuckloads of goals. In fact, he became such a talisman, that this fanzine made TSLRites at Rochdale away cut out their cut-out-and-keep Murray hands and stick them to their heads (below). Muzza even gave us a wave at the final whistle.
But things turned sour last summer - it really was a sickening move up to Croydon, and brought tears to TSLR for a couple of months. Plus anger. A whole load of anger. And, after a five year hiatus, we needed no further anger against P****e. The other half of TSLR wrote an impassioned blog post on the P****e fanzine Five Year Plan at the time which was remarkably neutral and I commended him for that. But I was full of hate. And I wondered if that hate would ever leave me. Like Murray had left me. I mean, when Elliott, Andrew, Micky and Bobby had left me in the past, it was for a new model, a sexier lover. Murray left me for the fat, ugly neighbour.
I’m not sure I quite believe Muzza’s claims from last summer that he wasn’t aware a rivalry existed between the clubs and he still maintains that position if his Preston Park chance encounter with a TSLRite has anything to go by. I know he’s stupid but… However, another TSLRite quoted him as saying in February 2011 that he “wouldn’t be at Albion next season.” Plus a hot ‘source’ gave us more rumours last summer that Poyet had offered Muzza such a ‘derisory’ low-paid contract simply to see the back of him. And then he didn't celebrate at Falmer. Despite fucking us over after we'd 'apparently' fucked him over. Fair FuckS Murray. It all means that this summer, I’ve started to feel pity for him. The pity I wanted last year. Seriously. He’s had a shocker of a season (#FFSMurray and Manchester United aside) and I hope he does better next season. But still gets relegated.
So I suppose the moral of this blog post is that forgiveness can be given out. No, that’s incorrect, the moral is that, when a player leaves, it may feel like the end of the world, but in the end you’ll get over it – there’ll be other, newer, better and more foreign players to play for your football club. No, that moral’s incorrect too, what if Vicente had gone up the A23 this summer? Now, that would be the end of the world. This blog has no morals.
Keep your eye out for TSLR livin da vida loca in Espana next week
We’ll be blogging from the sunshine soaked Seville