Murphy the star player but even better bloke

Bob Murphy’s 250th game was a match to forget from his team’s perspective.

His Western Bulldogs side was thrashed by 65 points in Perth by a rejuvenated West Coast outfit.

Murphy has given 250professional, consistent and most importantly, loyal, games to the Bulldogs despite limited on-field success.

He arrived at the kennel as a skinny 17-year-old that looked nothing like a footballer but has turned into a champion of his club.

The Bulldog spent the middle part of his career playing as a hard-running, undersized centre-half-forward under coach Rodney Eade.

He later moved back to defence where his decision-making and execution by both hand and foot was a feature of his game.

Murphy is in the twilight of his career and it is a shame that he is likely to join the long list of quality footballers that were not rewarded with a premiership that they deserve.

Playing ability aside, Murphy is regarded amongst the AFL community as a champion bloke.

The Eagles sent Murphy from the field with a guard of honour such is the respect that club has for him.

Murphy is highly-articulate and his insights into the game are often fascinating.

His dry-wit and honesty makes him perfect for television and he is a regular guest on the AFL360 programme.

From a personal perspective, even I have a Robert Murphy story.

After the Bulldogs defeated Gold Coast in Darwin two years ago I used my media pass to get into the Dogs’ change-room.

I did not intend to write a story but I wanted to soak up the atmosphere and admire the professionalism exhibited by AFL clubs.

As all the players were recovering for the following week, Murphy hopped up out of his seat and made his way over to me.

He told me that if I there was anyone I wanted to speak to just ask him as he would be able to bring them over for me.

He did not need to do this nice gesture but that is just the type of bloke he is.


TWITTER – @JClark182


About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Just back from the game and the Bulldogs lack of key position players seems to have Murphy also now destined to end his career as a (not so) “hard running, undersized centre half forward.”
    He struggled tonight. Inevitably played out of position to plug the gaps made by years of bad recruiting,
    When he got a disposal the ball use was sublime as always.
    I just adore him – on and off the field.
    The Gerard Whateley interviews on the Sunday Inquisition with Murphy and also new Saints coach Alan Richardson were riveting listening.
    Class individuals.
    Well played Jackson.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Good to hear the Bob Murphy we see on television is still the genuine article when you met him after the Gold Coast match.
    Destined to join the likes of Grant, Johnno, Smithy, West and Hawkins to miss out on a premiership but has given us supporters a reason to remain loyal to the Club.
    Still feeling the pain after last night Jackson and Peter. After another two years of “rebuilding’ they still haven’t got a functioning forward-line and seem to avoid recruiting tall forwards and backs to counteract teams like West Coast.

  3. The ABC interview was very good, I just like the way he considered his answer before replying, not just firing off the rote learned response gained from media “training”. He is a class player as well, the bulldogs have been served well by great players/people over the years.

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