Giants legends back in Belfast for Murphy’s testimonial

Belfast Giants netminder Stephen Murphy has been awarded a testimonial game after 10 years in teal. Credit: Presseye

A host of Belfast Giants legends are back in the city to celebrate the career of long-serving netminder Stephen Murphy with a testimonial game.

From original tough guy Paxton Schulte to fellow retired jerseys players like home-grown star Graeme Walton, an impressive line-up for Tuesday night’s event will thrill fans.

Past and present Giants players will come together to honour Scottish-born Murphy, who has served 10 years in teal and now calls Belfast home.

Paxton Schulte is back in Belfast and dropped the puck at Saturday's Belfast Giants game. Credit: Presseye

There isn’t much Murph hasn’t achieved, racking up accolades that include league championships and international gold medals with Team GB.

He even backstopped a Giants Select side when they took on the might of the NHL’s Boston Bruins in Belfast, earning high praise from Bruins captain Zdeno Chára.

Now he’s being honoured with a testimonial which he says is “really special”.

Murphy admits sticking around for so long wasn’t in his original plans when he first joined the Giants in 2009.

“But it’s felt like home from almost day one,” he added.

“There’s no better organisation, in the league or probably in Europe – that makes it all the easier to stay and be part of this team and you want to give everything for the team as well.”

For the Giants, Tuesday’s testimonial will be a chance to take a break from the intense hunt for silverware and have some fun.

But they will soon be straight back to competitive action with the biggest games of the season just on the horizon.

Adam Keefe’s side will take on Andrew Lord’s Cardiff Devils in Belfast on Friday and Saturday.

The Devils currently lead the league, but the second-placed Giants are hoping they can chase down their title rivals.

The Giants are the reigning Challenge Cup champions and are through to this year's final. Credit: Presseye

The Giants are also still on course to defend the Challenge Cup which they won by beating Cardiff in Wales last season.

This time around, they will contest March’s final against first-timers Guildford Flames.

But first, the Giants family will happily take time to recognise the contribution of one if its longest-serving members.

“It might be my one night to get in the net this year,” Murph joked.

“So I’m looking forward to it.”