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My Club: Scott Murray

From wing wizard to club kit man, Scott Murray has rightly earned his place as a City legend. He recalls life as a player in BS3...

I remember I was at Villa Park when Aston Villa’s chairman, the late Doug Ellis, came up to me after a reserve game and more or less told me that the club had sold me to Bristol City!

Back in those days you just didn’t argue with Deadly Doug, as we all called him then. My first thought was: “Where was Bristol?” Being from Scotland, I’d left home at 19 and I didn’t think you could get much further south than Birmingham!

I came down, saw Ashton Gate and was really excited about playing in front of 16,000 people every week.

John Ward was the manager and was brilliant, a great man and coach – but then, all the managers I played with were class. We got promoted quickly, I fitted in well and I’m still great friends with everyone.

I remember we’d finish training and get sandwiches at Denny’s on North Street, then head back to the stadium and chat absolute rubbish. We’d eat our sandwiches, crisps and I’d drink my Irn Bru.

It’s a lot more professional now, every little thing is done for the players, but back then we didn’t have as many specific coaches or sports scientists – it’s grown ten-fold in the years since.

Having first seen the stadium in December 1997, and comparing it to what we have now is unbelievable. What the Lansdown family have done is phenomenal – we’re lucky to have Steve and Jon and we’re only going in the right direction. The stadium is breath-taking and all ready for that next level.

I’ve played in loads of great games and scored a few important goals. Everyone remembers the two goals at Ninian Park, Cardiff in 2001. Before the game Andrew Jordan, who wasn’t involved that day, told me to tap my head if I scored. If you see the first celebration, I stood in front of what was the home end and the reaction was scary! Then I scored not long after and did the same, so I’m not very well liked in Cardiff.

Even though we lost against Stoke City at Wembley in 2000 I remember the unbelievable atmosphere and the walk out of the tunnel.

The atmosphere for the play-off final in 2004 against Brighton was frightening, but before that the dramatic finish to the home leg of the semi-final against Hartlepool United – with Marc Goodfellow’s header, and then Christian Roberts’ late goal – stands out. Another game to remember is the turnaround against Mansfield Town in 2002, when we fought back from 2-4 down to win 5-4.

From being a 14-year-old gutting fish to going on and playing those matches with Bristol City, has been an unbelievable experience.

The commemorative 125th anniversary brochure, which tells the complete story of Bristol City, is available to buy from the online Bristol Sport Store. The brochure includes a host of interviews with former players, managers as well as the club’s history retold with photos from the archives…

My Club: 125 years of Bristol City

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