Former Fife Flyers netminder Stephen Murphy announces retirement

Former Fife Flyers netminder Stephen Murphy has announced his retirement.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 5:39 pm
Stephen Murphy, former Fife Flyers netminder, has announced his retirement.
Stephen Murphy, former Fife Flyers netminder, has announced his retirement.

He officially called time on a glittering 24-year career which saw him win a host of club and GB honours.

Murphy was a rookie when he was thrown into Flyers’ Grand Slam team by coach Mark Morrison.

He was barely out of school when Mo plucked him from the ranks of junior jockey in a bid to solve a netminding crisis in 1999-2000.

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Fife Flyers, British Champions, 2000 - Stephen Murphy (left) with Ted Russell, Frank Morris, Derek King, Bill Moody, and Kyle Horne

The youngster proved to have nerves of steel as he backstopped Flyers to huge success, including a Grand Slam in the BNL.

His remarkable performances saw him emerge as one of the cornerstones of an outstanding team, and earn a place in the Fife Free Press’ top 75 greatest players of all time.

A spell in North America beckoned before he returned to ice with Dundee, Bracknell, Edinburgh and Manchester before settling with Belfast Giants in 2010.

He backstopped the team to its major honours and gained GB recognition too - Murphy is the country’s second most capped netminder behind Stevie Lyle, icing 68 times for his country.

Stephen Murphy icing for Belfast Giants against Fife Flyers at the 2014 EIHL championship play-offs (Pic: Richard Davies)

He made his GB debut aged just 19.

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Murf went on to win two silver medals as a GB player and was part of the gold medal-winning roster that won gold and promotion from Division 1 Group B in Belfast in 2017.

At the 2008 World Championship, Murphy was voted on to all-star team with the best save percentage of 93.3%.

Two years later he was named as the tournament’s best netminder - a feat he repeated the following year in Ukraine, with a save percentage of 93.5%.

In an interview on Belfast Giants website, Murphy said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve been fortunate to be able to play for such a long time.

“I think I started with the Flyers when I was 15, turning 16. Its been a long time and I have enjoyed every single year and I’ve been fortunate to be able to play for the Giants for so long.”

Andy French, Ice Hockey UK general secretary, Andy French, described him as “an exceptional netminder” and “just the type of player you want on your roster.”

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