"The most humble person you could ever meet" - Glenswilly team-mate pays Murphy a fitting tribute
As revered as he is for his heroics on the pitch, it's clear, on the back of his retirement, that Michael Murphy is just as well-liked, admired and respected off it.
After 15 years in the green and gold, the Tír Chonaill legend called time on his inter-county career on Wednesday night. And you don't have to be in Donegal to sense the sadness up there.
They have lost a legend. Murphy came onto the scene as an 18-year-old, making his debut in January 2007 in the Dr. McKenna Cup. That was a big moment for the county because he's been an ever-present ever since.
It's rare that a 21-year-old is made captain of their county but Jim McGuinness could see in December 2010 that Murphy was a leader before his time. It's even rarer again that a player would hold onto that captaincy for the next 12 years but that was exactly what the Glenswilly man did.
Because, right up until the end - he played his final game in June 2022 against Armagh in the qualifiers - he was Donegal's man for all seasons. They have a huge void to fill now because he was the leader, the talisman and more often than not, he was the one who stepped up in the important moments.
Unsurprisingly, social media was awash with tributes to one of the most popular, and admired players in the game. Ryan McHugh called Murphy the best he has seen in a Donegal jersey. Sligo man and DCU team-mate David Kelly said he was the best he's ever witnessed.
What matters the most is often the opinions of your neighbours, your people, and Murphy's Glenswilly team-mate Keelan McFadden paid a fitting tribute. He said Murphy was the 'most humble person you could ever meet.'
Seconds after the final whistle in 2012. Just one of the great memories with Murphy. Nobody did more to put Donegal in better place.
Plenty will be said about him as player but as a person he’s also one of the best. pic.twitter.com/6YzdYYVUJo
— Eamon Mc Gee (@EamonMcGee) November 17, 2022
— Paul Flynn (@Flinto23) November 16, 2022
— Ryan McHugh (@McHughRyan) November 16, 2022
Michael Murphy will go down as a true GAA great! He was a joy to watch and an absolute gentleman, best of luck to him with next chapter 👊 pic.twitter.com/MRB038a8ig
— Bernard Brogan (@bernardbrogan) November 16, 2022
Comhghairdeachas le Michael Murphy. What a player, leader and warrior. I expected to be watching him for a few more years, operating closer to goal. Massive loss to Donegal and to the game.
— Éamonn Fitzmaurice (@efitz6) November 16, 2022
The best football player I have ever witnessed 🙌 https://t.co/hxyUdlxx0J
— David Kelly (@D_Kelloggs) November 16, 2022
What a man,what a Leader,what a legend,but most importantly the most humble person u cud ever meet..no better man to go into battle with..his presence will be sorely missed on the field by donegalgaa.. enjoy retirement @murphm95 pic.twitter.com/24ITNqNbmz
— kealan mc fadden (@kealansavi10) November 16, 2022
I remember his debut v Leitrim in ‘07. What a career he went onto have. One of the best to have ever played the game. Such a role model he has been for the people of Donegal. Massive loss. Enjoy retirement Michael Murphy 💪🏼👍
— Emlyn Mulligan (@emlynmulligan) November 16, 2022
— Justin McNulty (@JustinMcNu1ty) November 16, 2022
— Ryan Bradley (@Ryanbrad85) November 16, 2022