Brighton and Hove Albion’s second-highest scorer in history, Glenn Murray has helped his club go seven points above the relegation zone. At 35-years-old, the English forward has eight league goals, tied with a handful of world class players, but the story of how he got to this level is even more impressive.
Glenn Murray has acquired legendary status at Brighton & Hove Albion after becoming just the second player in their history to surpass 100 goals for the club.
His unorthodox pathway into the professional game has captivated supporters evermore. Honouring his non-league roots, Murray has seized his opportunity in the elite ranks of English football and has shown extreme resilience and determination to reach the pinnacle against all the odds.
Although he spent six seasons with The Seagulls‘ fiercest rivals Crystal Palace, Murray’s reputation at the Amex Stadium remains unblemished due to his talismanic heroics during his two spells in East Sussex.
Furthermore, Murray is set to leave an immortal legacy in his wake, especially if he’s able to eclipse the all-time goal scoring record, previously set by Tommy Cook in 1929. He is renowned for being one of Albion’s first ever club legends and scored 123 goals between 1921 and 1929, whilst also forging a career as an adept cricketer for Sussex County Cricket Club.
The 35-year-old Murray looks in good condition to enter the history books with eight goals in 22 appearances in the Premier League this season. He’s even scored the same amount of goals as Son Heung-Min, Alexandre Lacazette, Leroy Sane, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, and more highly rated players, which for a man of his age is some feat.
It’s remarkable that Murray seems to be going from strength to strength in the latter stages of his career. Whereas most players begin to deteriorate beyond the age of 30, Murray has found a new lease of life in the Premier League and showing very little sign of slowing down.
Murray performs to over 30,000 of his disciples in one of the biggest leagues in Europe on a weekly basis, but he spent the primitive stages of his playing career in a starkly different environment. He signed for seventh-tier minnows Workington AFC in 2002 and learned the ropes in an amateur environment, consisting of unsavoury challenges and hostile supporters.
It was a learning experience that he’ll never forget and one that urges him to continue to work hard to maintain his professional career. He still played in non-league obscurity at 21 years of age and used his own initiative to seek out a move to the United States to resuscitate his dreams of forging a professional career.
His dreams were fading quickly and an undesirable spell with third-tier club Wilmington Hammerheads did very little to boost his bruised and battered ego. However, Barrow had been tracking his progress and offered him the opportunity to showcase his talent in the fifth-tier.
Although it was a minor step towards prosperity, Murray immediately seized the opportunity by scoring 7 goals in 7 appearances during his brief spell for The Bluebirds. Murray had very little time to lose and quickly switched to promotion favourites Carlisle United in an attempt to accelerate his path into the Football League.
Carlisle United gained back-to-back promotions to climb from the Conference Premier into League One, but Murray was unable to make an impression with the Cumbrian-based club. Therefore, Carlisle resorted to sending him on a brief loan spell at Stockport County, where he yet again failed to fulfill expectations.
He had lost his goal scoring touch and the potentiality of slumping back into non-league obscurity was looking more realistic by each game. Rochdale hoped that Murray could rediscover his clinical touch and took a major risk by signing him on a permanent basis in 2007.
This marked the period when Murray started to flourish in the Football League and he finished his spell at Spotland with 26 goals in 60 appearances. Brighton & Hove Albion were beginning to set their eyes on promotion to the Championship and were looking for a striker capable of scoring on a frequent basis to lift them to the next level.
The Beginning of his Love Affair with Brighton
Murray was linked with a move to Brighton throughout the January transfer window and the deal finally took place on the 25th January 2008. He joined the team at the Withdean Stadium for a fee of £300,000. His home debut was on the 2nd February 2008 and he scored two goals in their 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra. He scored 9 times in the 2007-2008 campaign for the Seagulls, making him an easy fan favourite.
Unfortunately, the 2008-2009 campaign saw Murray facing a few injuries. Despite his ailments, he still made 28 appearances and scored 12 times for the Albion. He scored twice in a 2-2 draw at Northampton Town. In the 2009-2010 campaign, he made 37 appearances and scored 14 times. He scored 4 goals at a 5-2 win away to Wycombe Wanderers.
Murray only seemed to get better with age. His final season with the Seagulls proved his best. In 50 appearances, he scored 22 times. He was runner-up for the Golden Boot to his future replacement Craig Mackail-Smith. He scored a memorable hat-trick against Leyton Orient in 5-0 win. However, this was Murray’s last season at Albion as his contract was expiring.
He signed for Crystal Palace on the 24th May 2011. His first goal with the Eagles was in his second appearance where they drew 1-1 at Blackpool. In 125 appearances, he scored 47 times for Palace, including a few goals against his former club Brighton. He went on loan to Reading in the 2014-2015 season, he scored 8 goals in 18 games for them. He went back to Palace and signed a contract extension until 2017. He made 3 appearances for the Eagles and then joined AFC Bournemouth for an improved bid of £4 million. In 22 appearances, he scored 4 times.
How He Became a Brighton Legend