PETER Murphy's son saw his dad score at Wembley before he even had a name, because the centre-back had to leave the bedside only an hour after his birth.
Murphy scored the only goal and claimed the man of the match award as Carlisle United beat Brentford to lift their second Football League Trophy yesterday.
The Irishman, whose handball started the 4-1 rout against Southampton in last year’s final, was watched by girlfriend Lisa and their first child, born two days earlier.
The birth caused Murphy to miss the team bus to London, but would have taken place there rather than spoil his dad’s chances of another Wembley appearance. Nevertheless, his arrival came too late for him to have a name when Murphy took to the field.
“He was born at 7.59 on Friday morning,” he proudly revealed. “I spent about an hour with them before I had to head off.
“The manager told me to get down as soon as possible and get some rest because I’d be training the next day. That tells you you’ve got a very good chance of playing. On the one hand I wasn’t too happy because I was shattered, but I didn’t mind at all. I took a pillow with me and got off to sleep on the train, then I got woken up because I was in somebody’s seat.
“To have played, scored the goal, been named man of the match, it was incredible. You can’t write the script.
“I didn’t know what we were having, so that was a surprise as well.”
Victory was a cathartic experience for Murphy and manager Greg Abbott.
“Everyone remembers I handled the ball last year,” said Murphy. “There were a lot of other individual mistakes but I got the blame for it.” Abbott added: “A week’s a long time in football, but when you’ve got a year to dwell on something ... Peter took a lot of criticism last year, so did I.
“There’s not many managers have been to cup finals and seen their team be as poor as ours was last year. I took a lot of criticism and I’m not indestructible.”
He revealed: “The plan was for his (Murphy’s) missus to travel down and have it (the baby) in London, from the game if needs be. He wanted to play.”
Meanwhile, Ben Marshall may not play again this season after damaging his ankle ligaments in a challenge with Adam Reed, on loan from Sunderland.
“There’s swelling around it, he’ll keep off it tonight – I’ll have to go to the bar for him,” quipped Abbott.