A long-serving Liverpool police horse who found fame online has died months before he was due to be retired.

Murphy’s Law succumbed to a sudden illness and died on 24 August.

The 21-year-old gelding had served Merseyside Police for 14 years, and was a well-known figure at football matches. He was due to retire in November.

“Murphy” found fame a week before his death, when he was pictured on social media posing with rider Constable Jenny Slade in front of street art of liver bird wings, in the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool.

Merseyside Police mounted section stable manager Lindsay Gaven said: “Murphy was a kind affectionate horse with a big character. He was a real pleasure to have at the mounted section and a permanent fixture for many years.

“He was part of the special team of horses that serve the communities of Merseyside and for many years a popular horse patrolling the football grounds.

“His recent social media fame proved to us that he really was a star and he will be greatly missed by all the team.”

The original picture of Murphy, also known as “Spud”, was shared on Twitter by the force on 14 August, with the caption “our mounted section officers decided to join the flying squad! #Pegasus”.

This was retweeted hundreds of times and when Merseyside Police shared news of Murphy’s death, tributes poured in.

“Sad news, a much loved member of Merseyside police,” wrote one fan. “My heart goes out to those who rode and looked after Spud.”



Another added: “Spud must’ve been trying those wings on for size. RIP.”

“God bless him,” wrote a third. “Be it horse, dog or human, the service to the public is very much respected and appreciated.”

The exact cause of Murphy’s death has not yet been confirmed.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.