Colin Murphy has managed Derby County, Lincoln City, Stockport County, Southend United, Notts County, Cork City Shelbourne, and the Vietnam National side. Hull City would also agree that he played a big part in their football development when the club achieved Premiership status first time around. The Tigers were his last club, prior to going into retirement with a stroke, but if you are Colin Murphy, you never leave football because nothing is too big an ask. Perhaps that as much as the Brian Clough baptism shaped the Murphy moral…………..
After a non-league playing career based around London, Colin ‘Merlin` Murphy took up coaching with Derby County, who gave him the impossible task of following Brian Cloughas manager in November 1976. Fill your boots son, a bit of a poisoned Challis, but why not follow Cloughie`s act and lead us to greater things? Surprisingly 10 months on he hadn’t quite got the Grail and got the push after 13 wins, 20 draws and 14 defeats.
By November 1978 with Taylor now loving it at Elton John’s Watford, bargain basement Lincoln came calling and, without any overstatement the purposeful passionate manager was to transform the club from top to bottom as only he could. We needed his uniqueness, a man who put new meaning to the phrase thinking around the box. Indeed his program notes broke new boundaries and did more to flout the English languish than a decade of text-speek thanks to the mobile phone. These were his weekly morals, surreal, but making the dreams seem plausible.
After enticer Taylor’s departure, George Kerr and Willie Bell had lasted a season apiece and got us relegated and worse. The playing staff was full of overpaid under talented journeyman or others going through the motions and using up the clubs money on bench warming contracts. So Murphy and his scouts went to Pennywise shopping for non league and reserves. Trevor Peake, John Fashanu, Gordon Hobson and Steve Thompson went on to become Imp legends before moving up the ladder in exchange for many coins of the realm. Our current manager Gary Simpson is a great talent spotter, suggesting the club may inadvertantly be starting to follow the Murphy model or moral already.
In 1981 Murphy took Lincoln up as Runners-up to Southend thanks to 21 goals from Hobson. The citty’s love affair with her team was revitalised as back to back promotions loomed. That season went right to the wire as the City emptied with over 7000 travelling down to Fulham on the final day. Alas a 1-1 draw saw the Lilywhites go up, pipping us by a point and Merlin Murphy and the Imp hordes trudged back to fight another day. The 82-83 season saw us storm the league for four months as England striker Gary Lineker`s Leicester fell to the Imps in the league Cup, This was fact not folklore, but in true Lincoln style we shot ourselves in the foot, as with games in hand the players went on strike. They had a point as strife in the boardroom and financial problems meant the wages had not been paid.
Chairman Bob Dorian feels he has had a rocky ride, but Gilbert Blades really felt the full force of the fans frustrations. Despite average crowds of 12,000 and the selling of fans favourite Trevor Peak, he even hawked the Ground to the Council for £225,000! Is nothing sacred? Manager Murphy asked for some of the cash to replace him but was told no. The Chairman’s house was given a paint job, followed by some very serious threats and by March we had the coup d’état or Directors resignation (DR) day when the entire board resigned. Lincoln still managed 6th but the damage was done as the fans voted with their feet in droves.
With Merlin Murphy we had stood on the threshold of a return to the second tier enjoyed during the 50’s but lack of ambition and a mean board had popped the bubble. Loyally Murphy stayed on until 1985 and helped us through the fateful Bradford Fire, which gave rise to the Stacey West Stand. That’s the one we are giving to the cods and co from now on. But the fire broke Murph more than anything else – only the Imps and Bantams there that day could truly relate such an experience. The TV gives an idea but those players that left can be excused for wanting a clean break. No one should go to a football match never to return. We Imps lost two in Bill Stacey and Jim West, lifelong Lincoln fans from cradle to grave, but if you ever go to the Bradford memorial the ages and generations of families that suffered comes across in those 56 names. Truly, truly, tragic.
It would take something for Murphy to return from Stockport and two years later George Kerr lost our league place for us even if Peter Daniel officially took us down. Perhaps it was guilt on Murphy’s part, for guess who was manager of the team who pipped us, Yes, Murphy’s magic wand had spared Stockport. QAnd suddenly he was back, our Murphy, a Magician to take us back. And he did. But after two tenth place finishes and 412 Games 160 Wins 114 Draws, 138 Losses and 594 points he was gone by mutual consent.
Colin then went on to Manage Shelbourne in Ireland, Southend and Notts County for a season apiece before giving up on full time management in 1996. Mind you he had a spell as Vietnam`s manager. He then joined Hull in 2002 becoming director of football, responsible for all scouting and youth development as well as day to day coaching. A stroke forced his retirement in 2009 although he still came back to Sincil Bank to do the odd bit of scouting up until a couple of years ago. But then the likes of Murphy, Taylor and Anderson only come along every so often at Lincoln. Let us hope Gary Simpson can joina very rare Imp breed.
Luton Town have released former Cambridge United right back Danny Gleeson, alerting a posse of BSP clubs. Proven at this level, last season saw his chances limited by injury and competition from on-loan AFC Wimbledon defender Curtis Osanu. The 6′ 3″ lad is already understood to be in discussions with 4 BSP clubs after failing to get a new deal along with striker Danny Crowe and left back Shane Blackett.
The big issues as ever for the Imps would be wages and budget, plus the fact that we already have Paul Robson signed up for another season. David Holdsworth is however mindful of the fact that a big side will pose problems for some of the footballing sides and Danny would certainly provide that. He has been capped 7 times for England C, suggesting Paul Fairclough the non-league guru also has confidence in his ability.
Born a stones throw from the Abbey Stadium Danny came up through the ranks before tasting League football at both Cambridge and Notts County following a free transfer. He then rejoined the U’s on loan before making the deal permanent in 2007, making 110 appearances over 3 seasons as well as receiving his England call-ups. In 2010 Luton signed him for free on a two year deal that saw him become an integral part of the side that tasted defeat in the play-off final against Wimbledon. This season saw one of the don’s fringe players came back to haunt him by keeping him out of the side. Let us hope Janos Kovacs has nothing but good things to say about him should we pursue an interest.
With a memorial to commemorate his life set to be unveiled next Sunday, here is an obituary for Lincoln City, Notts County, Peterborough United, Northampton Town and Macclesfield Town midfielder Richard Tony Butcher, who died at just 29 a year ago today on the 9th January.
On Saturday evening Gary Simpson dedicated the 2-2 draw against Bolton to Richard Butcher. His untimely death was of course the second tragedy to hit the Silkmen within a year, with manager Gary Simpson a friend of both Keith Alexander and ‘Butch’. In a further ironic twist Richard was the last Macc player to see Keith when he drove Maccs ex Imps back to Lincoln after the Notts County match on the night of his own tragic death.
Whilst managers up and down the country made multi million signings in the Summer Simmo snapped up an old mate as his big dream signing of the summer following a successful loan spell where the Silkmen evaded the drop last year in some style following the death of Keith Alexander.
Richard was found dead at his home yesterday after Macc officials became alarmed that he had not come into training. With his wife, Sarah, away on commitments great mate and Gaffer Gary Simpson rang to see if there was a problem. Butch was normally one of the first in and the last to leave, never missed a session and was a proactive role model for the youngsters.
Though a post mortem is yet to be carried out an enlarged heart may well be the source of the untimely death of a ‘brilliant bloke’ who had only recently married in July. Richard had collapsed over dinner about a year ago and spent time in Lincoln hospital but he was more than capable of continuing as a full time athlete.
Fans thrilled at the box to box skills of goal scoring midfielder Richard Butcher who never quite managed to play for home town club Northampton, moving instead to Rushden & Diamonds. He impressed in his debut withKettering Town who signed him at the end of the season after just 5 chances to impress. Gary then scouted him and Keith Alexander signed him for a Lincoln City side bouncing back from their brush with extinction. He debuted against Rushden on 23rd November 2002 and opened his account against Cambridge a month later.
Butch would be an instrumental part in 3 seasons that saw one semi and two playoff final defeats before Ronnie Moore signed him for Oldham Athletic on a free transfer. Butch had never commanded a fee, instead cleverly choosing to enjoy a larger signing on fee. Things did not work out and in the October he moved back to Lincoln City on loan. Ricky scored one goal in 4 before being recalled by his parent club to finish the season on 39 appearances and 4 goals.
Keith Alexander, then at Posh, signed Butch on 26/6/06 on a free where he would go on to become a popular terrace hero with his energetic box to box style. He would make 49 league and Cup appearances (inc 9 as sub) for Posh, scoring 5 times, before moving to Notts County. During a trying time for the club Ricky would make 87 league and Cup appearances (inc 6 as sub) scoring 19 times. That goal scoring rate is some average for a midfielder; many would argue it helped keep McParland’s magpies up.
Who can forget the headline Butcher Bounds Back into the Bank as Jacko made him his first summer signing as Joyous July oh month of rumour became reality. Butch was genuinely overjoyed to be back playing for a club and a City he had chosen to continue to live in despite his career commitments. It was not to be, Jacko departed and Chris Sutton arrived.
Butch was initially flavour of the month in the 4-5-1 formation before being discarded. Despite being ever polite he fell from grace to the extent that he would be set the task of running around the training ground as opposed to training with the first team. Fortunately his old mates at Macclesfield rescued him and took him on loan as he bagged 2 goals in eight appearances. before the Imps recalled him from their relegation rivals who were now higher in the table.
Butch featured in Lincoln’s final 13 games largely as a makeshift bit part player but things would look up this summer. With Sutton looking to free up a diminishing budget Richard negotiated a handsome but fair settlement for his services after a truly awful spell back at a club he deeply loved. It appeared to mark the beginning of a bright new dawn as he and love of his life Sarah, married in the July.
That Lincoln lump sum also allowed big mate Gary Simpson the chance to sign him on much reduced terms despite the advances of two higher paying offers. Despite two minor version of the once career threatening cruciate injuries, Richard scored a nifty close range effort against Bury on New Years day.
What a shame he will not be there with Gary to finish the mission for Keith this season. For despite the odds being stacked against football’s new crazy gang all at the Moss want to not only survive but prosper with perhaps even a playoff punt.
LCM’s thoughts are with his wife and family at this very difficult time and we would ask all at Sincil Bank to chant his name after the minute’s silence or applause.
A life in Stats
Full name Richard Tony Butcher
Date of birth 22 January 1981
Place of birth Northampton,
Date of death 9 January 2011
Place of death Manchester,
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
340 games (Lge 315 FAC 15 LC 10)
47 Goals (Lge 45 FAC 2)
1999-2000 Northampton Town
1999–2000 Northampton Town 0 (0)
2000–2001 Rushden & Diamonds 2 (0)
2001–2002 Kettering Town 44 (13)
2002–2005 Lincoln City 110 (11)
2005–2006 Oldham Athletic 39 (4)
2005 Lincoln City (loan) 4 (1)
2006–2007 Peterborough United 49 (5)
2007–2009 Notts County 87 (19)
2009–2010 Lincoln City 15 (0)
2010 Macclesfield Town (loan) 8 (2)
2010–2011 Macclesfield Town 8 (1)
Jake Sheridan the former Notts County and Tamworth midfield maestro has forsaken the green and pleasant land of Eastwood Town for the high church of Lincoln until the end of the season with Tyrone Thompson set to follow suit.
Trio Thompson, Sheridan and Medley were signed by David Holdsworth on an emergency loan basis on 17th November. Although Mr Medley has failed to impress – and been despatched with the customary Holdsworth style – Tyrone Thompson and Jake Sheridan have been a big part of a revitalised Imps midfield. Tyrone wins and keeps it simple whilst Jake is very much a football lover not a fighter, despite talk of revenge against the Cods on New years day. Tyrone incidentally looks set to sign until the end of the season too.
Since coming on loan from Eastwood, Jake has made 8 appearances for the Imps so far, with just the one yellow card. Make no bones about it this is a big deal to the lad and he relishes the opportunity having given up the day job in a factory to try to make it as a professional.
Good luck for the rest of the season, Jake your hunger is something that will resonate with many of the faithful we need you to help woo back.
|FULL NAME||Jake Sheridan|
|DATE OF BIRTH||8 July 1986 (age 25)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Nottingham,|
|HEIGHT||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|POSITION CENTRE MIDFIELDER|
|Imp Stats 2011/12||7 Aps 1, Yellows,3 shots on target|
|Contracted until June 2012|
|STMI historic Stats – All comps|