Ex Newcastle United, Sunderland and Celtic forward Daryl Murphy admits to secret FA drugs ban after taking cocaine while at Nottingham Forest

Daryl Murphy has revealed that he served a secret six-week FA suspension for taking cocaine on a night out last season.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 7:20 pm
Newcastle player Daryl Murphy celebrates after scoring the opening goal during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Birmingham City and Newcastle United at St Andrews (stadium) on January 7, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The 36-year-old striker, who enjoyed stints at both Newcastle United and Sunderland as well as Ipswich Town, Celtic, Nottingham Forest, told The Athletic that he was ‘not proud’ of his actions.

Murphy’s suspension took place while at Forest and was kept secret due to the FA’s policy not to name players who have failed drugs tests.

The Irishman made over 100 appearances for Sunderland between 2005 and 2010 before going on to become something of a cult-hero during his season on Tyneside as he netted six times in 18 appearances to help the Magpies to the Championship title in 2017.

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And in a statement released by The Athletic, Murphy said: “Firstly, I would like to stress that the taking of recreational drugs is something that I don’t condone whatsoever.

“I served a suspension at the beginning of last season for making a bad decision while on a night out.

“This was an isolated incident which happened out of competition when we had no game. I immediately regretted it.

“I am not proud of what I did but it’s something I have put behind me as I want to concentrate on my football career.”

Murphy has since left Forest and now plays in League One for bottom side Bolton Wanderers. The forward has netted five times in 10 appearances for the Trotters who are currently trying to avoid a second successive relegation following a point deduction.

Professional footballers are subject to drug testing at any time with no prior warning and it’s now FA practice not to name any player who has being charged following this type of ‘targeted testing’.

The FA’s policy to protect the identity of those guilty of misconduct relating to drug use is due to those who are charged are often players at the start of their career or that have pre-existing drug related issues.

At 36, Murphy is at the end of his career and has a previously unblemished record. It has been seen as a mistake that took place outside of football and something that Murphy, in his words, ‘immediately regretted’.