Man Utd to unveil statue of club legend Jimmy Murphy
Manchester United will unveil a lasting tribute to legend Jimmy Murphy at Old Trafford next year.
Murphy was a key figure at the club in developing the ‘Busby Babes’ and was the caretaker manager for 22 games following the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, playing an absolutely pivotal role in helping the club come to terms with and recover from the tragedy.
He was not on the flight himself as he was coaching Wales at the time, and he remained as Sir Matt Busby’s assistant until 1971 to help rebuild the club.
That contribution will now be immortalised with a statue outside the Streford End, and it will be unveiled on May 3 – exactly 65 years since Murphy led Man Utd in a FA Cup Final at Wembley.
“Jimmy Murphy was one of the most important figures in the history of this great club,” Collette Roche, chief operating officer of Manchester United, said.
“He was not only Sir Matt Busby’s chief coach and then assistant for 25 years, but, perhaps most importantly, led us out of the darkest period in our history.
“In those terrible days after the Munich tragedy, Jimmy was the man who held this club together and built a team that reached the FA Cup final. No matter the result, it was a remarkable achievement to even be at Wembley – something that, on 6 February 1958, seemed inconceivable.
“It is fitting that this wonderful statue should be unveiled on 3 May, the date of that final against Bolton Wanderers and at the Stretford End, overlooking the land where Jimmy used to train the Busby Babes.
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“It will add to existing statues of Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson, and the ‘United Trinity’ of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, outside Old Trafford.”
The project has been led by Pat Burns, chair of the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation, and with Alan Heriot – who created the statue of Denis Law in Aberdeen – commissioned as the sculptor.
“I was moved when I saw the statue and there is no doubt that Alan has done a fantastic job in capturing the passion and image of one of the backroom legends at Old Trafford,” Burns said. “I know the Murphy family, who joined us on the trip to Scotland, were also hugely impressed with the progress.
“It will be a special occasion on 3 May when we finally unveil the statue marking Jimmy’s extraordinary contribution to United at the most tragic time in this club’s history.”
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
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Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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