Retiring Hibs legend Joelle Murray recalls Champions League pride

Retiring Hibs legend Joelle Murray recalls Champions League pride
Hibs captain Joelle MurraySNS

After 20 years and more than 500 appearances, Hibernian captain Joelle Murray has decided to call time on her legendary career.

From leading her side out at Easter Road to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League back in 2016 to lifting their first Scottish Women’s Premier League title, Murray has been there, seen it and done it.

“The answer is always that Bayern Munich game,” the 37-year-old defender said when asked about her favourite moment in a Hibs shirt.

“The level of opposition, a world-class club, under the lights at Easter Road. Just leading the club that I’ve supported all my life out that night was a proud moment for me and my family.”

Murray insisted earlier on this season that she had no plans to hang up her boots just yet but now admits it is a decision she has been thinking about for a while.

“I had already been thinking about my retirement at the end of the season and was kind of weighing up the pros and cons quite early on,” she said.

“For so long now, I’ve had both internal and external pressures to be ready and perform at my optimum.

“It was fully considered and I wanted to do it on my terms. I didn’t want football to retire me or me to maybe start resenting football a little bit because of neglect and injuries.”

Murray has won every available domestic trophy with her childhood club – including two league titles, seven Scottish Cups and five League Cups.

She was the first women’s player to sign a professional contract with the club and has become the most decorated player in Hibs’ history.

“I’ve always maintained that I would let my body tell me when,” she said. “People only see me performing on a matchday and the questions have come because I’ve obviously still been starting and competing.

“That’s only the tip of the iceberg. I think the journey to a matchday has become tougher from a physical perspective.”

Murray earned 48 caps for Scotland and was part of the squad that qualified for the European Championship in 2017 – and the World Cup in 2019.

However, since her last Scotland appearance that year, results and performances have not reached the same heights for the national side.

“I was speaking to Jen Beattie and Rachel Corsie the other day when they reached out and we spoke about how it only felt like yesterday that we were on camps together with the national team,” Murray said.

“Just having a laugh off the pitch, but as soon as we stepped on to the pitch, it was very much game face, game mode.

“So we as a national team at that time were successful, qualifying for tournaments. I think we, as a national team, deserve to be back on that platform.

“From a national perspective, I’d like to see the national team get back to those performance levels and really show their talent to the world on those top-class stages.”

Related Topics

  • Scottish Women’s Football
  • Scottish Football
  • Football
  • Women’s Football
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