Glenn Murray is still going great guns at Glebelands

Glenn MurrayGlenn Murray has been involved in football at Johnston since he was a nipper and now, at 61, he is the long-serving hon secretary of ‘The Tigers’ and is as busy off the Glebelands’ pitch as he used to be on it.
In fact, it was only about a year ago that he played for the first team after going with them as first-aider at Solva and agreeing to be listed as one of their substitutes because there was no-one else available.
“Of course I had no intentions of playing,” Glenn told us, “but when one of our players got injured and the other subs were already on the pitch, I had no option but to get my track suit off!
“I decided I only had to try and be of nuisance value but when the ball suddenly came my way inside the Solva area and my low right-foot shot found the net to the amazement of both teams, especially me!
“I’ve tried to find out if I’m the oldest player to score in the first division but no-one seems to know!”

Family Matters . . .

The Murray family have been heavily involved with Johnston because both he and brother Russell played well for many years and are now involved in coaching, whilst Glenn’s two boys have both played.
“In fact, I stayed on as a player in the seconds until I was 48 in the hope that I could play a few games alongside Scott and Andrew but I missed out with both because they were good enough to go straight into the first team – although there was one occasion, against Solva again, when we all did manage to turn out and I really enjoyed it.”
Glenn is also very proud of his daughters Sophie and Nikki, who are both living and working in England now.

From youth club to county youth success

Paul Jones and Glenn Murray at a presentation eveningGlenn has been involved with football in his town since he was a pupil at Johnston Primary School and he joined the likes of John and William Codd, Richard and Steve James in a team organised in the local youth club by the late Donald Twigg.
“Of course there were no organised leagues in those distant days and we played friendlies wherever we could on a pitch which was later turned into a skate park near the housing state called ‘The Close’.
“We started playing league football at under 14 and when we moved into youth football we reached the final of the Wiltshire Cup against a very strong St Clears’ side we but couldn’t match the Johnston team from the year before because they had won it.”
Glenn also played for the Pembrokeshire Youth team which beat 2-1 to Swansea in the semi-final of the S B Williams Youth Cup Youth Cup, starting out on the bench in a team that contained fine players like Pat McQuillan, Simon Clarke, Neil Jones, Huw Bevan, Brian Kinsella and Dai Pick – and coached by Mr Neil Jones, a well-known and respected teacher.

Glenn Murray in County Youth team


Other Sports

“When I was a pupil at Milford Grammar School there was no football allowed so I played rugby right through the time I was there and into the first team as inside centre, with my footballing pal Steve James outside me under the watchful eye of Mr Martin Charles, who was a good bloke but didn’t have any time for the round-ball game.
“I also played golf at Haverfordwest Golf Club with more Johnston mates in Steve Mills and Gwyn Griffiths and we had some good battles but I stopped played regularly when I was on a handicap of 13 and the other two went on to play off single figures.
“On the cricket front I have always been ready to help out in the seconds as a wicket/keeper batsman (although some team-mates might query the second half of that description, but I did manage a few fifties in my time and quite a few catches – but not many stumpings!)”

Playing away – and coming home to Glebelands

Glenn had ten years in Cardiff as a Customs Officer and during that time he played in the Newport Sunday League for a team called ‘Paul Diaper Travel’ but when he came back it was only natural for him to play again for ‘The Tigers’.
“It wasn’t long before I wasn’t allowed to just play but was roped in to go on the committee by Trevor Morgans, who was inspirational in his work for us so I couldn’t say no – and when he stepped down as hon secretary I stepped in, knowing I had a huge pair of football boots to fill.

Glenn Murray was part of the successful Johnston team in the 1980s

Some ‘high highs’ – and a few ‘low lows’!

“Since then there have been the usual ups and downs that happen in most football clubs and the undoubted highlight was when we won the West Wales Cup at The Liberty Stadium in 2012/13, when we beat Penlan 3-2 thanks to a late goal by Steve Mills Jnr after he had been stretchered off with a huge swelling on his leg but volunteered to go back on again as nuisance value after we had used up all our subs.
“But it was typical of ‘Millsy’ that he somehow scored an amazing goal that saw us home with players of the calibre of Martin Langdon, Ben Phillips, Kanga John, Liam Bowell, Joe John, Luke Hayward, Adam Hawkins, Scott and Luke Murray.
“I t was a memorable night for our massive crowd of supporters and we also won the Senior Cup by beating West Dragons – but missed out on the coveted treble by a single point after having to play 14 games in the last month of the season!”
But the following season brought dismay as Johnston were kicked out of the West Wales Cup for fielding an illegible player and Glenn is honest in his appraisal of that event.
“I take my full share of the blame for that and it was a bad time for us as we eventually couldn’t field a second team and they had to drop out of the league – but I’m glad to say that we are back to two teams again now and have some very promising players!”

And finally . . .

Ask Glenn about his own playing and he is quick to answer that it was Russell who had the skill whilst he enjoyed putting himself about.

“I really enjoyed being part of two very good Johnston teams that included the likes of my brother Russell, John and William Codd, Micky and Tony Algieri, Steve and Richard James, Chris Walters, Dave Dickenson, Gary Stephens and loads more.
“I didn’t play in many finals and the only time I was picked for a Senior Cup Final I had to drop out because I was injured the week before – but I wouldn’t have missed my involvement in my club for anything.”
That just about sums up Glenn Murray’s approach to football and we at can only say that we think he has always been a great asset to Johnston AFC, both on and off the pitch!

Johnston stalwarts Micky Algieri and Glenn Murray