Matt Murphy’s eyes haunt me. It was the 25th November 2000, and Murphy had just slotted home to give us a 2-0 lead before half time against Notts County. Murphy got them both and started his celebration by glancing up to the London Road End with what can only be described as; come-to-bed-eyes.
I was a bit giddy with all the excitement and confess to being a little flattered. Then I saw something deep inside his eyes; something I’ve come to realise was Murphy, the soothsayer, the host, possessed by demons, channelling; “Laugh it up motherfucker, your future is wrought with the peril of failure.” It was chilling.
Jimmy Carter won FA, League and Cup Winners’ Cup before joining us from Arsenal. He had pedigree, and joined us on one of those ‘loans with a view to a permanent deal’ deal. I remember Nick Harris once commenting on a game that had ‘no class apart from Jimmy Carter’.
It all looked great, and then, he just disappeared. There wasn’t any announcement of him leaving. Part of me still thinks of him as a member of the squad. Like Germany being at war with Berwick, Carter has been left in limbo because nobody remebered to tell him to leave. A bit of me thinks of him turning up to training every day, wondering why successive managers have ignored his mercurial talents.
Players leave a lasting impression on me. Alfie Potter, signed from Peterborough, sounds like a cheeky Beano character. No matter how long he stays with us, he’ll always be an ‘ickle cutie pie we should avoid shouting at in case he cries.