Former Mansfield boss says he felt right at home after joining Stags as a youngster.
Murray had three spells with the Stags as a player, enjoying two promotions and over 175 games after arriving as a promising Derby County youngster on loan.
“It was a whirlwind of a young career for me,” he said. “My first loan move came at just the right time.
“I had a lot to prove and when I came here I felt at home, like I always have. Luckily for me it went the right way.”
Of the 2001/02 promotion, he smiled: “It was one of the best dressing rooms I’ve ever been in, but I can’t remember a great deal of it as had more nights out than we had training sessions!
“But that came from the manager all the way down – the team spirit and a very young squad. A lot of them went on to play Premiership and Championship football.
“My first game was a night game and we’d hit a bit of a wall and I was asked to get us over the line. The rest of the season went perfectly.”
His second spell in 2004/05 was less memorable. Murray said: “My second spell was probably my toughest here as the managers were ‘interesting’.
“I didn’t really get on with Carlton Palmer at all. He wasn’t really my cup of tea.
“It’s nothing personal but I didn’t really get him and that was the first time I’d actually felt like I wanted to get out of the club. I ended up leaving to go to Carlisle.”
Murray then returned in October 2010 to help lift the club out of the Conference and subsequently get his first taste of the managerial hot seat.
Paul Cox was appointed manager and quickly impressed the skipper, only missing out on an immediate promotion by losing to York City in the play-off semi-finals.
Murray believes the pain of that was what spurred them on to win the title the following year.
“It was the first time in a long time since I’d been here that there was actually some structure in what we were doing,” he said.
“Having come so close the first year, to have it taken away at the last minute it was of the most painful things I have ever experienced.
“I said to quite a few people then this is never happening again. We will 100 per cent do it next season.
“It got to the Hereford game and we were still ‘carrying’ the season before. “Before the Wrexham game I had to be honest with the gaffer and said I was absolutely finished. I couldn’t play as I was that tired.
“He said ‘get on with it, you’ll be all right’. So I just stood in the centre circle and kept putting Green in, which worked!
“I now have that memory I can always look back on and it’s priceless.”
Murray took over as manager after Cox had gone but it ended with his departure in November 2016.
“When I left – I can be honest now – I wasn’t happy with the decision,” he said.
“But in hindsight everything happens for a reason and I loved the break. It was refreshing.
“I was lucky enough to work with Paul again, I had a few months spending time with my family and then was lucky enough to get a call from Barnsley where I have gone in as head coach of the U18s.”