Murphy was born in Moston, Manchester on 29th April 1932. His football
playing career was short lived, playing while in the army for Stadt Verden
while stationed in Germany. He later played for Mather & Platt and
St. Dunston's Parish in the Manchester Amateur League but a series of
injuries was to curtail his career and for some years his interest in
In the late 1960's Bob Murphy's brother Ged was running the Newton Heath
Working Mens Club Sunday team and Bob was talked into joining him. A young
winger who had been with Bradord Park Avenue, Alan Brown, was playing
for the WMC and Bob recommended him to the then Mossley trainer Eric Mathews.
Following a call from Mossley manager Don Wilson, Brown was signed and
Murphy was asked to become a scout for Mossley. He duly accepted. When
Wilson resigned in November 1972 Murphy was promoted to Assistant Manager
under new boss George Sievwright, and when the Scotsman was sacked in
January 1974 Murphy was appointed Caretaker-Manager, a post he held until
the end of the season when he was offered the job on a permanent basis.
The 1974-75 season saw Mossley in great form, they finally finished 6th
in the League and reached the 3rd round proper of the FA Trophy before
losing unluckily at Burton Albion, won the Reporter Cup beating Stalybridge
Celtic 6-4 on aggregate in the final.
The £100 signing of striker Dave Moore had a great influence on
the team and the arrival the following January of Leo Skeete from Rochdale
was the coup-de'tat. Murphy's team finished 9th in the 1975-76 season
and reached the final of the Northern Premier League Cup for the first
time losing to Boston United in a two legged final.
The 1976-77 season started well enough but the team ran into trouble by
November and following a 5-2 home defeat by Goole Town on 13th November
Murphy was dismissed. Spells with Stalybridge Celtic and Northwich Victoria
followed and Vics were top of the League when Murphy was invited back
to Seel Park in January 1978 following Dick Bate's dismissal.
What followed was the greatest spell in Mossley's history. Manager of
the Month awards became commonplace for Murphy as his side marched to
the NPL title in 1978-79 scoring an amazing 117 League goals and winning
the League Cup against Murphy's former club Northwich in the final at
Maine Road into the bargain. If that wasn't enough what followed was even
The 1979-80 season saw Murphy's team retain the NPL title with a dramatic
31 match unbeaten run in League and FA Trophy which saw the Lilywhites
once more crowned champions and Murphy's greatest moment as he led his
team out at Wembley for the 1980 Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium. Mossley
lost the final of course but Bob Murphy was a hero anyway and the song
'We're on the march with Murphy's army' echoed around the town as Murphy
and his team were given a heroes welcome on their return home.
The 1980-81 season saw Mossley go out of the Trophy at the quarter final
stage and finish runners up in the League but Murphy's guile caused an
FA Cup upset as Crewe Alexandra were beaten in 1st Round at Seel Park.
The following season
1981-82 saw Mossley again as runners up in the League and again reaching
the final of the NPL Cup, this time losing by the only goal to Gainsborough
Trinity at Maine Road. Then in Murphy's last full season in charge the
Lilywhites finished League runners up for the third successive season
and were unlucky to lose an FA Cup tie at mighty Huddersfield Town.
Things turned sour for Murphy in the 1983-84 season as early in the season
the wage bill was slashed as the club experienced financial difficulties
and unrest amongst the players finally saw Murphy depart from Seel Park
following a 4-2 defeat at Southport on 3rd December 1983.
The following January Murphy became Manager of Southport and stayed there
until December 1984. He spent the remainder of that season at Barrow and
following term he was back in management again this time with Buxton and
he was to stay there for seven years up until October 1992 when he decided
to retire from football management.
However, when Mossley found themselves bottom of the NPL and with a very
poor team Murphy came back to attempt to save them from relegation in
December 1992. An almighty effort to save a desperate situation ensued
but despite Murphy's best efforts the team was relegated from the top
flight of the Northern Premier League and Murphy left Management for the
His involvement with
Mossley wasn't finished though and he attempted to help later managers
Steve Taylor and Roy Soule but he was invited to become a scout for Leeds
United under Howard Wilkinson's chief scout Geoff Sleight and then former
Chelsea and Wigan boss Ian McNeil.
He was tempted away from Leeds by an offer to scout for Oldham Athletic
and held that post for several seasons.
When Mossley again found themselves manager-less in the 2001-02 season
Bob again stepped into the breach and acted as caretaker manager for two
games prior to the appointment of Ally Pickering.
He was popularly appointed Club President of Mossley AFC following
the passing of his predecessor Jim Wharmby in 2003.
Bob Murphy sadly passed away on Wednesday 17th February 2016.