To read the name of Macauley Murray on the Hoops team sheets this season will bring back many positive memories for some of our older supporters because it continues a strong family connection with the club started by his father Paul.
Forty-nine-year old Paul was born in Belfast but his family moved to England when he was two years old and while he was still at school “Muzza’s” soccer potential was spotted by Charlton Athletic . Paul spent four years with the Addicks and played for them in the 1987 FA Youth Cup final against Coventry City and also represented Northern Ireland at Under-21 level before being released by Charlton in 1988.
He then had a brief spell with Dover Athletic before joining the Hoops. He made his debut on October 15 1988, scoring in a 3-0 home win over Chatham Town at the start of what was to prove the first of several spells at the Charles Ground either as a player (making a total of over 200 appearances), coach, assistant manager or manager.
Paul, who holds a UEFA ‘A’ Licence, one of the most respected coaching qualifications in the game, has also played for or coached at several other non-league clubs during his long career and he is now Whitstable Town’s first team coach. But “Muzza” remains a popular and regular visitor to the Charles Ground and that is sure to continue now that “Macca” is playing for Deal.
A midfielder like his dad, Macauley ‘s previous clubs include Ramsgate, Faversham and Whitstable and he helped the Oystermen to win the Southern Counties East League title in 2018 before he took a break from football to go travelling.
But “Macca” returned to East Kent earlier this year and the 24-year-old made half-a-dozen appearances for Deal towards the end of last season, and he has now decided to commit his immediate footballing future to the Hoops.
Hoops head coach Steve King said: “We are delighted that ‘Macca’ has decided to commit to us for the coming season despite receiving offers from Bostik South East League clubs. He is someone that I think very highly of and have no doubt that he will improve us as a club. He showed in glimpses what he was capable off when featuring in a few games at the end of last season and, with a full pre-season under his belt, will be a key member of the side in the coming months.”