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Geordan is the Best and more

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In December 2012, The Tig wrote in appreciation of the legend that is Geordan Murphy. After the announcement this week that this is his last season as a player, we thought you'd forgive us for repeating that blog from six months ago. Thank you Geordan. And good luck.

Dean Richards didn't get much wrong in his time as a Leicester Tiger, but The Tig has grown to disagree with his comparison of Geordan Murphy and football legend George Best.

Manchester United hero Best is the greatest natural talent in the history of UK football and Deano mentioned his name in comments on Geordan’s unmatchable natural talent, ball skills and ability to create something out of nothing on the pitch.

It was a complimentary comparison that became a regular feature of news and interviews during the first half of Geordan’s career at Welford Road.

But Best’s brilliant bright light shone all too briefly and by his late-20s he was gone from the biggest stage.

Murphy, in contrast is now in his 17th season as a Tigers star.

As club captain too, if there is a comparison to be drawn with football, The Tig would look at Geordan as our version of Ryan Giggs, on the field anyway.

Originally a dashing and exciting wing, then taking a more central role and eventually assuming a position as leader of men; the description applies to both Geordan and Giggs on the field.

Neither has the physical bulk to impose on a game, but the speed of thought and deed; the appreciation of time, space and teammates; the daring to take something on in their own fashion; and the natural ability to carry it through means they can still infuence a game which is going on around them.

Longevity is earned in the case of both men. Neither of them would still be at the top level if they didn’t deserve it. And they can both still catch the eye, no matter what company they operate in.

Giggs has a remarkable record in that he has played and scored in every Premier League season over two decades. Geordan is one of only two men to gave made a Premiership appearance in every season of rugby’s equivalent top-flight competition, and holds the Tigers record for European appearances and tries.

What also unites both men in the simple fact they are winners.

Giggs has a trophy room rather than a trophy cabinet, and Geordan is the most decorated man in Premiership Rugby history. Both have had opportunities to line their pockets with better offers from abroad, but both have chosen to stay where they are loved most.

Whatever they have done on the field, they have done at the highest level with their clubs. They have played every single game of their lengthy careers with rivals trying to knock them off their perch. In that context they have played hundreds of ‘cup finals’ and come through every time to want some more.

Enjoyment could be the key, for they manage to play and train with a smile. But their smiles are nothing compared with the enjoyment their fans experience from the touchline, week after week, year after year.