FORMER football manager and town council stalwart Terry Murphy has died, aged 79.

Terry, who had worked at ICI, had a long association with football in the area and served the Winnington and Castle Ward on Northwich Town Council.

Northwich Guardian:

Terry Murphy

The Guardian understands that Terry, a parkrun regular, tragically collapsed during the weekly race in Carey Park on Saturday.

Town council colleague Sam Naylor paid tribute to a ‘passionate’ man who gave his all for the mid Cheshire area in his capacity as a representative and football figure.

Cllr Naylor said: “I am really shocked. I have known the Murphy family for as long as I can remember, and it’s a huge loss.

“I don’t think people realise what an asset he was to the community, particularly in terms of football.

“He was always such a gentleman, and a big supporter of grassroots football. He cared about his community, he stuck up for it, and he was passionate about the town. It’s an absolute tragedy.”

He had spells as manager of Witton Albion, where he was most recently a scout, Northwich Victoria, Winsford United, Barnton, Middlewich Town and Lostock Gralam.

Terry, who lived in Winnington, also spoke out seven years ago in support - in his role as a councillor - of the creation of what is now the fans-run 1874 Northwich.

A Middlewich Town statement said: “We are shocked and saddened to learn that former manager and player Terry Murphy has passed away suddenly this morning.

“In the 2000s Terry oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, winning the Mid Cheshire League Premier Division title 3 times, the JB Parker Cup 3 times and the District Cup 5 times.

“Terry was known throughout the area for being a hugely successful manager having enjoyed previous success at numerous other clubs, and his contributions and legacy at Middlewich Town will never be forgotten.

“We send our sincere condolences to his family. Rest in peace Terry”

Liverpool-born Terry featured in the Knutsford FC team in the 1950s.

He made his debut for them as a 17-year-old inside left, scoring two goals in a 6-1 win at Wilmslow Albion on April 18, 1957.

Terry moved to Stockport for a short spell, then back to Knutsford for the 1958-59 season before moving to Northwich Vics in 1960.

He went on to play as a left-half in the Football League for Crewe Alexandra and at non-league level with Witton Albion, before moving into management with a succession of mid Cheshire clubs as well as Rhyl, Runcorn and Altrincham.

Most recently he won three league titles in seven years at Middlewich Town, before joining Winsford United in 2009 where he had to quit after three months for family reasons.

Terry won the Mid Cheshire Sunday League title in his first nine years in management with three different clubs, Broken Cross, The Railway and Greenbank.

He even won four trophies in one season with The Railway, and then a treble with Barnton in 1997-98.

Terry followed John King into the top job at Northwich Vics for the 1984-85 season, before Mike Pejic took over the reins.

An 1874 Northwich post on Twitter said: "Terry was a giant in these parts. A real football man.

"If you're associated with football in mid Cheshire then you'll have heard of Terry. Thoughts with the family."

A post from Barnton FC read: "We’ve been hit with news today that has truly devastated us.

"Terry Murphy passing has hit home, he was not just a friend of us all but a wonderful man whose dedication to local football was second to none.

"Tonight our curtains are drawn and flag is half mast. #RIPTerryMurphy #Legend"

Winsford United added: "All of us at Winsford Utd send our deepest condolences to the Murphy family.

"Terry Murphy was a football man who gave so much to this region at so many clubs. Sad day for the community."

A statement on the Northwich parkrun Facebook page pays tribute to Terry and those who provided assistance at this morning's run.

It says: "Unfortunately this morning, Terry took his last breath on the parkrun course.

"Terry has taken part almost every week since we started Northwich parkrun, each time with a smile and a wave.

"Since his first parkrun, he had brought down his time from almost an hour to 40 minutes. He was a loved member of our parkrun team even volunteering on occasions and always stopping to chat.

"Terry was also a councillor for Northwich Town Council and was instrumental in ensuring we had a defibrillator available at parkrun each week.

"Whilst our emergency procedures kicked in without a hitch, unfortunately there was nothing more we could do to help.

"Thank you to all participants who stopped to help, delivered CPR and helped the medical team. Thank you to the Ambulance service and to the Air Ambulance service. Lastly,
Thank you to parkrun HQ for offering so much support.

"We only take comfort in the fact Terry passed away doing something he loved.

"Terry’s family will be joining us this coming Saturday to celebrate his wonderful life and we hope that at this very sad time you will join us as we hold a minutes silence in Terry’s memory."

A Runcorn Linnets statement reads: "Everyone at Runcorn Linnets is deeply shocked and extremely saddened to hear that former Runcorn AFC assistant manager, Terry Murphy passed away earlier today.

"Terry, who was 79, was trusted right hand man to John Williams when the former club won the Northern Premier League treble in 1980-81 season.

"John and Terry were a formidable partnership, reviving the club's fortunes and by winning the NPL title (in addition to the League Challenge Cup and Shield) put Runcorn on the national non-league map.

"A place in the Alliance Premier League was secured and when the title was won at the first attempt the following season, it was the pinnacle of the  original Linnets' achievement."

Here's more tributes to Terry:



And here's some of the messages left on our Northwich Guardian Facebook page:

Mandy Clarke: parkrun won’t quite be the same without him crossing the line x lovely man x

Terry Loraine Thomas: So very very sad , lovely man ,he managed Broken Cross and lostock ,my late husband Graham Thomas played for both teams and Terry was well respected manager . Lots of love to Anne and family x

Helen Nellie Carlon: RIP Terry Murphy absolute Gent met up with him in Tenerife on his usual winter sun holidays UTA.. X

Kevin Rimmer: R I P Terry , an absolute privilege to have your friendship , and to serve with you as a Northwich Town Councillor. One of the nicest people I have ever met. My sincere condolences to Ann , Debbie and your family. Northwich has lost a true gentleman.

Lee Steen: Remember when he was manager of witton and I asked him if I could train with them as a 16 year old he said yes no problem kid.