Meet the NFL kicker who dreamed of playing for Monaghan

Off The Ball speak to Patrick Murray

BY Raf Diallo 18:51 Saturday 4 February 2017, 18:51 4 Feb 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Patrick Murray (7) reacts after making a 54 yard field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. The Vikings won 19-13. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns place kicker Patrick Murray says he dreamed of playing for Monaghan's Gaelic footballers one day.

Murray, who was born and raised in New Jersey, comes from a family steeped in rich GAA tradition for the Ulster county and as a youth he regularly visited family in Clones.

The 25 year old, who is currently a free agent after an injury hit few months, joined Off The Ball ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl LI between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.

"Growing up, we always watched my two uncles, Ciaran and Brendan Murray, who were superstars for Monaghan back in the day - Ciaran actually winning an All Star and Brendan should have won an All Star," he said, joking that the latter matter wouldn't be discussed as it's still a touchy subject.

"They were absolutely incredible athletes. My Dad was an incredible athlete in his own right, so growing up and travelling back to Clones every summer to see family, we'd be kicking balls over the bar in St Tiernach's Park and my dream was actually to play for Monaghan one day.

"Obviously, living in America with Gaelic football there's a couple of places where you can play and I played, growing up, for Rockland GAA which is based out of Pearl River, New York. So I played in Gaelic Park a lot."

However, it was the American football route that he would eventually take.

"But the real sport in this country is American football and growing up I was always kicking a ball. My Dad thought it would be a good transition when I got to high school at Don Bosco Prep which is one of the best high schools in the country to start kicking. I got into it and the rest is history I suppose."

But after a difficult 18 months affected by injuries, Murray admits it has been a tough time for him as a player.

 

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