Portrait of David Bruce Murray

September 23, 1905
A full-back capable of advancing into a more exacting sphere of influence is the subject for our sketch this week. David Bruce Murray possesses all the natural qualifications for developing into a defender of the highest rank. Sturdy in his returns, and claiming a useful turn of speed, while at the same time exhibiting ability in tackling of no mean order, there is no reason why he should not become a first class exponent of defensive play. He was born at Busby, near Paisley in the county of Renfrewshire, some twenty-two years ago. In his younger days he played for a youth’s team, Busby Rosemount, as left full back, a position in which he commenced his football career, and has ever since maintained.

When about eighteen years of age he joined a team named Leven Victoria, and with them took part in the Scottish Junior Cup Ties. He shaped so promisingly while with this local eleven that Glasgow Rangers began to cast their eyes on him, and they gave him a trial in a friendly fixture against Port Glasgow, on the latter’s club’s ground. He partnered Donald Crawford, and the result was a victory for his side. However, some emissaries from Everton were on the prowl, and they spotted him, the result being that he was secured by the Blues. He opened the season at Goodison in 1903 by faring well against the League forwards in the trial games.
In his first year with Everton he materially aided the Reserves to win the championship of the Lancashire Combination, and his vigorous play, as defender on the left wing, brought him into greater prominence.

At the close of the season Everton transferred him to Liverpool, and this proved a useful move on the part of the Anfielders, for when Alf West was injured Murray stepped into the breach and regularly assisted the League eleven in Second Division fixtures. When the right winger resumed Murray had perforce to return to the Reserve team, and although he usually figures with the second string he is always ready in case of emergency to assist the Leaguers.

In addition to participating in football, Murray is fond of such essentially Scottish pastimes as hammer throwing and weight putting, at which he can perform very creditably. Swimming, however, claims most of his attention, and his knowledge of notation has proved useful in saving life. While walking along the side of Busby dam he noticed a boy struggling in the water. He immediately jumped in and succeeded in rescuing the youth, a feat which has been recognised by the Royal Humane Society, whose certificate Murray now holds.

Murray is sturdily build, standing 5ft. 10in., and scaling the beam at 13st. 7lb. His style of play possesses many creditable features, though not altogether free from fault. He kicks with great power, and since the present season opened has shown great improvement in his methods of clearing. In the trial games he displayed very sound tactics, his tackling being effective, and without sign of hesitancy. In this respect, however, he has still much to learn, and when he can overcome the fatal habit of unaccountably missing the ball, sometimes immediately following a really brilliant clearance, he will have overcome his chief failing. Consistency and reliability are necessary for a player to become a League exponent of the highest caliber, and it is solitary weakness of occasional lapses when least expected that Murray will have to battle against.

Otherwise he is will built for a full back, and there is no reason why he should not advance. Wider experience may probably develop greater confidence in his own abilities, and when this is accomplished we shall see fewer blunders in his play. Liverpool are persevering with him, and we trust that they will eventually be able to bring Murray out as a first class player in the near future.
(Joint Everton & Liverpool Programme: September 23, 1905)

David Murray

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