Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Buxton and Mossley are both in mourning for Bob Murphy.

The manager of both clubs in the 1970s, 1980s and briefly in the 1990s before becoming president of the Lilywhites in 2003, he passed away last Wednesday aged 83.

Born in Moston, Manchester, Mr Murphy played for the army in Germany and in the Manchester Amateur League before injury curtailed his career.

Before going on to become Buxton’s longest serving manager during a seven year stint at Silverlands starting in 1983, he managed Mossley in two spells between 1974 and 1976 and then between 1978 and 1983.

During the latter period, his side twice finished as NPL champions, in 1979 and again in 1980 when he also guided them to an FA Trophy final appearance at Wembley.

Mr Murphy, who left Seel Park in 1983, went on to manage Southport before taking over at the Bucks in 1985 with the club at its lowest ebb for thirty years and facing a second successive appeal for re-election to the NPL. Observers later insisted it was only Mr Murphy’s appointment which persuaded fellow NPL clubs to back Buxton.

After going on to transform the club and turning a profit in the transfer market during his reign, Mr Murphy retired from management in 1992. He returned for one last time as Lilywhites boss in December 1993 in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to save them from relegation from the EVO-STIK NPL’s top flight.

Before his popular appointment as the successor to Jim Wharmby as the First Division North club’s president in 2003, Mr Murphy also spent a number of seasons scouting for Leeds United under Howard Wilkinson, later joining Oldham Athletic in the same role.

Source: www.evostikleague.co.uk

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