Appearing in ITV’s preview for Fulham’s cup game at Swansea last season, Danny Murphy was asked about his role in Liverpool’s 2001 FA cup win.
“I used to get the medal out to show friends,” he said, “but you can’t do that nowadays- what with the way things are nowadays.” Well quite. Who among us can leave our doors unlocked when we’re upstairs on the treadmill without fear of marauding youths nipping in to relieve us of our sporting trinkets? Being honest, do you find it possible to rest easy at night with the dual knowledge of an easily accessible back gate and a conspicuously placed trophy and plaque resting atop the mantle?
And that’s just in the home: surely anybody that has ever walked home at night conscious that their white iPod headphones are doubling up as some sort of slickly designed and ergonomically sound bullseye, can imagine what sort of criminality the glint of engraved gold could provoke in children already equipped with the ASBO for loitering and smoker’s cough and keen for an FA Cup winner’s medal to complete the set.
What interests us though is not the latter part of Murphy’s lament to modern Britain, but the second part, the bit about getting the medal out to show friends. Note the plural and the worrying implications this holds for Joanna Taylor, Murphy’s wife, former Hollyoaks star and, oddly, former weekly Times columnist (I never got round to adding her to my Journalist list, but the fact that she is no longer employed by the same paper that continues to allow Rod Liddel to vomit all over your Sunday breakfast does raise some rather ominous questions.)
One can’t help but feel a deep ache of empathy and sorrow for Taylor when one pauses to consider that awful moment, between the trifle and the coffee, when Danny would rise full of intent vowing to return quickly, before doing as he promised only, this time, armed with a smart presentation case containing a red cushioned inside, the medal itself and a very long and very dull anecdote. Which Joanna had heard before. Several times. Talk about anti-social behaviour.
More Joanna Taylor images: Joanna Taylor WAG Gallery
Written by Chris Mackin