Bert Murray discusses the changing roles of wingers and full-backs


From Brighton v Bristol City, August 1972:

“I was really surprised to be voted Player of the Season. It was a great honour and one I shall always remember. But I thought it could have gone to any of the players as we have such a marvellous season. There was Eddie Spearritt, who was so consistent… Willie Irvine, who always scored vital goals… and Peter O’Sullivan, who started off like a bomb.

“As I have said, it wouldn’t have surprised me if the award had gone to any member of the first team squad. But naturally, I was very thrilled to be voted to the title.

“It will help me to remember last season even more. Once again, as I was at Birmingham, I was switched from my right-wing position to play right full-back. The move didn’t bother me. I don’t have any special preference for either position. I enjoy them equally.

“Nowadays, of course, wingers don’t play like the old-fashioned wingers and neither do the full-backs. I remember when I was at Chelsea and at Birmingham that if you were selected to play on the wing you had to stay out there. It was frowned upon if you wandered to the other side.

“But it’s all changed now. As long as you are aiming at something positive anything goes. A winger is allowed to move inside or drop back to help in defence and it’s commonplace to see full-backs go on runs. That’s what makes today’s game so exciting.”


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