The FAI have paid a glowing tribute to Daryl Murphy on the day that his international retirement was announced.
The 34-year-old striker confirmed that he would be calling it a day with the Ireland national side after a decade-long career in which he earned 33 caps and scored three goals – with all three strikes coming in the most recent World Cup qualification campaign.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, who welcomed Murphy back into the international fold after a gap of six years, led the tributes to the Nottingham Forest forward and wished him all the best in his club career going forward:
“Daryl did really well in the years that I worked with him in the international set-up and he was always very professional.”
“He got to play two games at EURO 2016 and I’m sure the Italian game will be a big memory for him when he looks back on his days with Ireland.
“There is no doubt that he wouldn’t have wanted to end his international career without scoring so it was fantastic that he finally got his goal against Serbia, which proved to be an important goal for us.
“He was a great servant for his country and I wish him all of the best.”
John Delaney also had some kind words to say about Murphy, and referenced his time in the League of Ireland with Waterford United as a strong foundation for his later success.
“It is a huge privilege to represent your country and Daryl always appreciated that. You could see how much it meant to him to play for Ireland – even when he had a six-year gap between caps; he never lost that desire to do his very best.
“It should not be forgotten that he also excelled in the League of Ireland with Waterford United before earning a move to Sunderland. That period helped to shape his senior career and I know that he is very proud of his roots.”
Although Murphy only scored three international goals, he was still a part of some of the biggest moments in recent Irish football history. He started in the 0-0 friendly draw against England in Dublin in June 2015, as well as the famous 1-0 victory over world champions Germany later that year.
He was also played from the beginning in the 1-0 victory against Italy in Lille that sent Ireland to the last 16 of Euro 2016, and was trusted to lead the line in the latter part of the national side’s 2018 World Cup qualification – including the 1-0 win in Cardiff that sealed Ireland’s playoff spot.
Daryl Murphy has today announced his retirement from international football. Murphy’s international career ended with 33 caps and 3 goals. Here is a look back at his two memorable goals in the Aviva Stadium last October against Moldova! #ThankYouDaryl #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/gAM9gPxEr3
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) January 27, 2018
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we speak to new Cork City goalkeeper Peter Cherrie on his move from Bray Wanderers, we reflect on Ireland’s UEFA Nations League draw as well as the usual round-up of this week’s League of Ireland news and transfers.