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Matt Murray

At 6ft 5in tall and with an impressive physique to match, Matt Murray was an imposing figure in between the goalposts and after showing such promise as a youngster it was no surprise that he went on to star for Wolverhampton Wanderers and the England Under-21 team. Even though his hugely promising career was regularly interrupted by injury, and he was forced to retire at just 29, his friendly gentle giant demeanour and ready willingness to make time for others has ensured he will be regarded as a true Legend by the fans at Molineux who were privileged to watch him play.  

(Matt is pictured at our Wolves 2014 event above, wishing an opposition player good luck ahead of the big match at Molineux)

Born in Solihull in 1981, Murray progressed through the youth ranks at Wolverhampton Wanderers before signing on as a professional at 17 years of age in 1998. His 1st real breakthrough came at the start of the 2002-03 season when at just 22 he made the No 1 jersey his own after initially deputising for the injured Michael Oakes. An extremely impressive debut season in Division 1 culminated in the club finishing 5th and subsequently reaching the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Attempting to achieve promotion to the top level of the English game for the 1st time in 19 years, and facing Sheffield United who had finished 2 places above them, the pressure was certainly on Wolves, but their blend of experienced players like Paul Ince, Denis Irwin and a promising younger crop like Lee Naylor, Jolean Lescott, helped them to run out convincing 3-0 winners with goals from Mark Kennedy, Nathan Blake and Kenny Miller. Despite the scoreline it was far from one sided, and Murray was crucial to the team's success, with his 2nd half penalty save from Michael Brown just one of a string of impressive saves that earned him the Man of the Match Award.

With a season in the Premier League ahead, regular appearances for the England Under 21s under his belt and talk of a step up to the full squad being imminent, Murray's career was on the up, however it didn't take long for what was to be a career long injury curse to strike. His 2003-04 season was blighted by a back injury and a stress fracture to his foot, and a succession of further injuries meant he was only to play 7 times for Wolves in the following 3 seasons.

However he retained his place in the team for the club's 2006-07 Championship season and went on to play 44 League games, helping his team to 5th place. Although the team lost out in the play-offs to local rivals West Brom (after an injury to Matt's shoulder ruled him out of the 2 legs), Murray's season was a huge personal success, with the towering No 1 winning a PFA Player of the Month Award, a place in the Championship Team of the Season, the PFA Fan's Player of the Division as well as his own clubs' Player of the Season Awards.

In the form of his life and hitting the prime of his career at the age of 26, Murray was looking all set to fulfil his potential. However it wasn't to be and his injury curse struck again when he suffered a cruciate knee injury in pre-season training ahead of the 2007-08 season. The injury kept him out of the game for over a year and it wasn't until November 2008 before he was able to make his comeback on loan at Hereford United. However in only his 3rd game back he suffered a patella tendon injury to his right knee making a clearance and despite a long battle to return to full fitness he was eventually forced to retire at the age of just 29 in August 2010.

In total, the hugely admired and respected Keeper made 100 1st team appearances for Wolves and was so well thought of by the Wolves fans he was deservedly rewarded with a testimonial in October 2011. Just under 8,000 fans turned out to wish him a farewell, and true to the big man's character he used the game to raise money for four testimonial charities: Penn Hall School in Wolverhampton, Alzheimer’s Society, the Stroke Services Cycling Group at West Park Rehabilitation Hospital and Mzamowethu Pre-Primary in South Africa.

Matt's been a regular at our Wolves events since making his Football Aid debut in 2011, and his aproachable manner and enthusiasm for the game always goes down well with the fans and it was a a great honour when he agreed to be an Ambassador in 2013.

Read about Matt's career on Wikipedia here.