Sheffield United-bound Jamie Murphy says Motherwell goodbyes

Jamie Murphy is emotional at the final whistle against Celtic
Jamie Murphy is emotional at the final whistle against Celtic

Sheffield United-bound forward Jamie Murphy has said an emotional goodbye to Motherwell ahead of his transfer to the League One club.

The 23-year-old confirmed after the 1-0 defeat away to Celtic that a transfer deal will soon be concluded.

"I was trying to hold it in, but seeing all the boys behind me and the fans clapping me off, that was fantastic," Murphy told BBC Scotland.

He later said on Twitter: "Looking forward to getting down to Sheffield."

Murphy had already said his goodbyes to the 'Well support at Fir Park after Saturday's 2-2 by Kilmarnock before heading to Sheffield for transfer talks.

He was named as captain at Celtic Park, where the third-top side matched the Scottish Premier League leaders until a late Gary Hooper winner.

"The boys were great and it's disappointing not to win the game as I thought we did well enough for at least a draw," said Murphy.

"I am sure the boys will take heart and push on. I just need to look on and further my career."

Murphy is now looking forward to big games in the Blades' push for promotion from League One but wanted to ensure that Motherwell received a fee for his transfer.

"The last thing I wanted to do was to walk out of Motherwell for free at the end of the year," said the former Scotland Under-21 international whose 'Well contract was due to run out in the summer.

"I've been here for 11 years now, so for them to get nothing wasn't really an option for me.

Henrik Ojamaa consoles Jamie Murphy at the final whistle at Celtic Park
Team-mate Henrik Ojamaa consoles Jamie Murphy at the final whistle at Celtic Park

"It has been fantastic. I've had 11 great years here, coming through the youth team and I got to play in the first-team, which was the aim when I started."

Murphy, who turned down a move to Championship outfit Blackpool a year ago, was asked if there were rivals for his signature.

"Not many," he admitted. "Sheffield United made the biggest effort to try to get me down.

"It's a massive club. I didn't honestly know how massive until I went down there the other day and saw the stadium, the training facilities."

Murphy, who said matches in European competition were among his highlights at Fir Park, hopes his move will help him break into the Scotland squad.

"I can only keep playing well and hopefully someone will take notice," he said.

"If not, I will just have to try that bit harder."

Murphy won a penalty - Tom Hateley's spot-kick was saved by Fraser Forster with the score at 0-0 - but insists he had no thoughts of taking it himself.

"Just because it is my last game, I don't put myself before the team, so Tom and Michael Higdon practise the penalties at training," he said.

Well manager Stuart McCall was philosophical about that decision.

"It would've nice for him to step up and take it, but it wasn't to be," he said.

"What a way for him to finish, I thought he was terrific.

"I've got a tear in my eye. He's a great kid to work with.

"Everybody at the club respects him and loves him really as part of the family."

McCall added that he thought Murphy had "the tools" to become an international player but just needed more consistency.