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  1. #16
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

  2. #17
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    So glad I got this at our family day in February at WO.

    Western Bulldogs 2016 AFL Premiers
    Cede Nullis (Yield To None)

  3. #18
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    Lovely guy who answered the challenge when we needed him to step up.

    I remember at the start of the year and we discussed the chances of complacency kicking in after our premiership effort however, the general consensus was the players wouldn't struggle for inspiration and that they would do it for Bob. After the way he presented himself today I don't think any player should struggle for inspiration for this weeks game. He needs to fitting tribute and all at the club need to get behind him.
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  4. #19
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    What words can be used to describe Bob.

    Will miss watching you play. Your energy and love for the red white and blue was outstanding.Depsite being at the club through some very dark days your demeanour always gave be hope that good times were on their way. All the best in retirement, and hope that you find some way of being involved with the club for years to come.
    Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’

  5. #20
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    What words can be used to describe Bob.

    Will miss watching you play. Your energy and love for the red white and blue was outstanding.Depsite being at the club through some very dark days your demeanour always gave be hope that good times were on their way. All the best in retirement, and hope that you find some way of being involved with the club for years to come.
    I hope he hangs around long enough to give the others some tips on kicking the footy.
    AFL premiers 2016
    VFL premiers 2016




    I'm celebrating my love for you
    With a pint of beer and a new tattoo
    And if you haven't noticed yet
    I'm more impressionable when my cement is wet

  6. #21
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I hope he hangs around long enough to give the others some tips on kicking the footy.
    I remember when he had been at the club only a couple of years, I took my nephew and daughter to a train with the players clinic at WO. The kids happen to be with a group of players including Bob and I was following them around the ground taking photos.

    Anyway we were standing around just outside the 50metre arc, and one of the players had a bet with Bob he couldn't put the ball through the big sticks. Bob picks up a ball and kicks it 60 plus metres straight through the goals from the boundary line. The nephew who was about 7 back then, fell in love with Bob and he became his favourite player.
    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

  7. #22
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    The Guardian - Bob Murphy: the rapturous Bulldogs boy who embraced the club as his own, Kate O'Halloran

    The 18-season veteran has called time on his career and will depart the AFL not only as a great footballer and a true leader of men, but also as a political hero


    Bob Murphy reveals his true colours after the siren at the 2016 AFL grand final, which he cruelly missed through injury. Photograph: Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

    Bob Murphy is the leader of my clan. And what a fitting son and icon of the Western Bulldogs he is. At his retirement press conference, he referred to our club as one that has in recent history been “irrelevant, forgotten, a laughing stock”. But like those other champions of the west – Chris Grant, who famously rejected a huge pay packet from Port Adelaide in favour of a 20-cent coin offered to him by a young Bulldog fan, comes to mind – he never turned his back on it. Instead, he embraced it as his own, “not as the club I played for,” he said on Tuesday, “but as my club, the club I love”.

    For Murphy, as for all Bulldogs fans, calling Footscray home has often meant “a wafer-thin line between romance and baggage”. He wasn't there for arguably the most gruelling and heart-breaking loss – the 1997 capitulation against the Adelaide Crows in the preliminary final – but he was a historian of the club, and he understood too well the burden of its limited success; the downtrodden spirit of an underdog club for which the AFL became benefactor and tried to merge with Fitzroy.

    He also understood its “backs-against-the-wall” will to fight against the lot it was consigned – and it’s fitting that when this footballer-cum-poet put pen to paper, he chose to immortalise the names and stories less told. “It’s almost become a cliché that the property steward and bootstudders are the lifeblood of an organisation that turns over millions of dollars a year,” he wrote in Murphy’s Lore, “but for working-class club like the Bulldogs, it is the volunteers who actually saved us a couple of times – the same volunteers who are still revered by all inside the four walls.”

    Murphy encapsulated the magic that swept the football community in the Doggies’ quest for premiership glory in 2017 – and I am convinced that without him, the club would remain mired in the ripple effects of so many symbolic and literal defeats. To win the premiership without him was in many ways the cruellest of ironies; a glory never quite complete.

    In the lead-up to the game he wrote eloquently about what it meant to miss the occasion. “I’m told my club has an ancestral link to Scotland… and for all my club’s glorious spirit of working-class heroes, the scars of the past are visible like the thousands of lochs on a Scottish map. It feels like the most anticipated grand final in recent memory, but my lot this year means I won’t get to lead my boys out in front of the Bulldog clan. That’s my little loch that I shall keep locked.”

    And keep it locked he so bravely did – until he emerged, just as the siren so gloriously sounded, to tear off his jumper and reveal a Bulldogs guernsey that had been waiting for just this moment. Bob the clan leader became Bob, the rapturous boy of our mob, and the thumping of his heart, draped in red, white and blue, was as perfect as Luke Beveridge’s gesture to drape his own medal around our hero’s neck.

    Murphy’s own heroes weren't any ordinary football heroes. They were characters whose politics reflected his own; leftist, progressive and so often lauded as “un-football like”. Murphy’s most recent hero is Adam Goodes, whom he stridently defended in the wake of the racist booing scandal. “To watch a strong Indigenous man continually keep getting up and playing on, so beautifully, despite the abhorrent sound of a vocal minority has been something to behold,” he wrote in The Age, adding that the scandal had him “hanging my head in despair, chin to chest”.

    Then, under his leadership, against the Bombers that year, the entire Bulldogs team wore their Indigenous guernsey in honour of Goodes, while Murphy wore Goodes’ number 37 for the coin toss before the game. That was Bob Murphy at his finest, and Bob Murphy as I choose to remember him, not only as a footballer but as a political hero; a rare combination indeed, and one of the reasons I am so proud to belong to the same tribe as he.
    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  8. #23
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    thenewdaily - Bob Murphy, the man who became the heart and soul of the Western Bulldogs, Chris Winter


    Bob Murphy made his Bulldogs debut in 2000 and will bow out at the end of 2017. Photo: Getty

    If you want to know what sort of person Bob Murphy is, listen to him tell the story of the night a clash with Anthony Rocca wrecked his knee in 2006.

    As he lay hurt on the wet turf of the MCG after a bruising tackle, Murphy was informed matter-of-factly by Western Bulldogs doctor Gary Zimmerman that his night and season were over.

    “I was in shock, no doubt, but I had this other great panic inside me,” he wrote. “Did I just dog it?

    “I was struggling to remember the moments before I got tackled and I was filled with dread that I had flinched at the critical moment.

    “If I’d just dogged it, what would people be saying about me? What would be written? Would my teammates be ashamed of me?”

    That’s Murphy: facing a year out of the game and his foremost thought was about letting down his mates.

    How did a kid from Warragul, with the face and build of a Dublin street urchin, manage to play 300 games in the AFL and retire the most beloved player of his generation?

    On Tuesday, Murphy announced this season – his 18th in the AFL − would be his last.

    Balanced, elusive and now a ‘great’

    Like Melbourne great Robbie Flower, with whom he was often compared, there was a frail, spectral air about Murphy – not only in his pallor and build, but in the magic he could execute on the field. He was supremely balanced, elusive and could be effective all over the ground.

    That he survived and flourished in the cut and thrust of AFL footy with his frame was miraculous, perhaps the son of an ex-priest and an ex-nun had a little divinity on his side across that half-back flank.

    But Murphy won’t just be remembered as a brilliant player – in a time when the phrase ‘spiritual leader’ has been done to death, Murphy and St Kilda’s Lenny Hayes came closest to giving it true meaning.

    His columns for The Age newspaper showed a man who thinks. He tackled music, politics, sledging, race and, of course, a little footy. He was a throwback, railing against the Americanisation of Australian Rules and pining for a simpler time, when players ran on instinct.

    “We now film training,” he said, incredulously, in 2015. “When I started, it really was ‘the forwards up there, the backs there and the midfielders’ [there]. You throw up the ball and the best players usually get it and you sort it out amongst yourselves. That’s how it should be.”


    He would playfully deride the Western Bulldogs sports science staff, labelling them “physedders” − much to their annoyance. He famously missed out on the Bulldogs first premiership since 1954, when he sat out last season following a second knee reconstruction.

    Murphy, who embodied the heart and soul of Footscray more than any other modern player, feels his lack of a flag keenly.


    Bob Murphy (L) and Easton Wood lift the 2016 premiership cup. Murphy did not play in the game because of his second knee reconstruction. Photo: Getty

    “There’s a bit of a hole in the heart there,” he admitted on Tuesday. Yet there was no player more whole-hearted than Murphy. He once declared premiership players to be the ‘bull elephants’ of footballers, getting first drink at the watering hole.

    “They walk up to the bar and the rest of us just take a step to the left,” he said. But there’s no one who could deny Bob Murphy the first drink, no matter what the company.

    Former Bulldogs president David Smorgon said he would eventually become a legend in the club’s Hall of Fame.

    “He arrived looking like a jockey but he ended up being a champion of the club and the game, both on and off the field,” Smorgon told The New Daily.

    Ted Whitten Jr, himself a club great and the son of their finest ever player, said Murphy is in his father’s league.

    “He’s the heart and soul of the Western Bulldogs,” Whitten said. “He’ll go down as one of the greats.”
    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  9. #24
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    footyalmanac - Bob Murphy: Big brother, big influence and even bigger heart, Anna Pavlou

    “I know this sounds like a cliché,” Bob began, his signature grin beaming. “but this was a childhood dream.”

    Today, Bulldog’s favourite son Robert ‘Bob’ Murphy has announced that he will be hanging up the boots at the end of the 2017 season.

    The 310-gamer took to the press along with coach Luke Beveridge, explaining the football world, according to Bob.

    He began with thank-you’s, to coaches of old and new and to his family, for their optimism from game one to game 310. He thanked his teammates for ‘keeping him young’ and he noted the privilege and pride he felt to be part of, but to also lead his Bulldogs’ pack.

    There was even a mention of Murphy’s heroes, in the Richmond Tigers team of 1995, giving the then 13-year-old boy hope to play the gritty game of AFL. As well as a long-time hero in Martin Flanagan, who notes Murphy as ‘one of the special people’ in sport.

    As the conference continued, Murphy admitted he retired three times last season, after his knee injury sidelined him for the most part of 2016.

    Bob then went on to explain that he was ‘that close’ to actually retiring at the end of the 2016 season, but felt as if he had more to give, hence his decision to play on in 2017.

    However, he knew when winter 2017 hit, that this season would be his last, with his body giving him ‘tell-tale signs’ that he’d ‘run the tank completely dry.’

    Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge stated that the club would be ‘disturbed’ by the exit of a favourite son, but focus would remain heavily on the rest of the 2017 season, with Murphy believing that the Dogs have ‘still got some cards to play.’

    Beveridge also stated that Murphy should walk away ‘fulfilled’ as he was such a positive figure who brought the club into a good space, placing him up with the likes of Bulldogs’ heroes Ted Whitten and Charlie Sutton.

    When asked what he’d miss most about playing football, Murphy explained the feeling of ecstasy and brotherhood shared in the two minutes prior to the team running out to play, highlighting how it would be a feeling he would forever cherish.

    He ended with some wise words for his younger teammates seated in front of him. “This football club is in my skin, in my bones. I encourage young players to hang on at the one club, because it’s a pure joy.”

    Murphy’s end statement was that the song ‘End of the Line’ by The Traveling Wilburys, would fit his retirement perfectly.

    So, don’t be surprised if you hear it blasting from the Whitten Oval come season’s end.

    Bob Murphy changed the way we perceive the game of AFL today.

    AFL now is all corporate and big business, but Bob Murphy was able to survive by being grass roots and all people.

    His endless fascination with football people, their stories and the oval ball makes him a great AFL hero.

    Bob Murphy represented every man. From the little kid snapping goals over his shoulder down at the park, to the weekend warriors battling it out on suburban grounds around the country.

    It felt like he played for us, because he WAS one of us.

    Congratulations on a fantastic career, Bob. Keeping smiling.
    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  10. #25
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    SMH - For Western Bulldogs' Bob Murphy, the gig is up, Greg Baum

    In the super-band of this season's retiring AFL players, Bob Murphy is the songwriter and sometime singer.

    He has played footy and written about it in the same way, with a whimsical charm that belies the difficulty. Perhaps only Brent Crosswell before him managed to capture so wholly the beauty of the game while negotiating its weekly terrors.

    In an early column, Murphy wrote about the magic of his first pair of boots. In another, he told of how he sang the Bulldogs song to his infant son as a lullaby. As he announced his retirement on Tuesday, he talked about how "the smell of a footy can make you feel like a nine-year-old again", but also the "hole in the heart" of the 2016 premiership, epochal for the club and competition, but cruelly passing him by.

    Murphy is first and last a footy romantic, self-styled. Does that make him sound like, to use his own vernacular, a "nob"? So what. There's little enough romance in the game anyway, and now less. After a win over Collingwood in 2014, Murphy wrote: "There's still a part of my footy soul chained to another time, where a win like Sunday's would be marked by a two-day bender, but footy is about six-day breaks these days." Paul Kelly could put that to music.

    Murphy's whole presser on Tuesday came across as an exercise in trying lines out loud, listening for their rhythm, as lyricists do. When you join a club, he said, "you inherit the club's mission". He did. 1954, the year of the Bulldogs only flag, "felt like ghost stories". He talked about walking up the race with his team on match day and the unique sense of "brotherhood and clan".

    He remembered when the Dogs were "dire, irrelevant, a laughing stock". At last in his 10th year, they won a final, and thenceforth were no longer the club he played for, but indivisibly his club. "It's in my skin, it's in my bones," he said.

    You can hear the guitar, strumming away, can't you? It wasn't conscious. It is the way Murphy expresses himself. So was his goal against GWS on Friday night, twisting away from the grasp of Harrison Himmelberg before threading the big posts from the pocket, a football couplet. Forever wispy, he has never been insubstantial, in case you forget. "Flanker", he was pleased to think on Tuesday, was no longer a dirty word.

    Murphy thanked Richmond 1995 for their inspiration, medics for maintaining "a body I didn't think had 300 games in it", teammates "for keeping me young", former Age columnist Martin Flanagan, Ben Hudson's beard, the Espy Rock Dogs (a footy team, since you ask), sundry musicians, and his wife, Justine, and three children "for filling my world with love, Lego and kindness". Their reward would be a "Winnebago trip up the coast" and "more trampoline time", his "a cup of tea and the crossword".


    Murphy's footy journey is both odyssey and ode. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

    He knew the gig was up for him "when players started wearing headphones in the warm-up", but really when winter set in this year. He spoke of the "armour" a footballer must wear to survive, but he could now lay down. Looking around metaphorically at the crowded valedictory class of 2017, he said: "It feels like a game of musical chairs that has gotten out of hand. But I play along so I'm not left without a chair."

    Murphy's footy journey is both odyssey and ode, but the last stanza has been a lesson in how sport mostly is written by an unseen hand. In 2014, as the Dogs ebbed and looked to youth, Murphy wrote: "In the best possible sense, this is not my team any more." But the season ended in crisis, and Murphy gave up his column to take up the captaincy and its myriad responsibilities. The next year, he was all-Australian captain.


    Murphy on the grand final podium in 2016. Photo: Scott Barbour


    Bob Murphy - then and now.

    A further year on, the Dogs won the premiership. The ghosts of '54 were laid to rest, but another appeared, the selfsame captain Murphy, who had done a knee and could be with his team this day in every detail except his boots.

    Immense pride competed with "a sense of emptiness". Coach Luke Beveridge consoled him then by handing over his winner's medal, and on Tuesday by saying if not for the momentum Murphy had given the club, there would have been no grand final. The hurt would pass, he said, but the pride would not.

    Clear in his priorities, Murphy has written only two columns in the past two years. One in 2015 was to stand with Adam Goodes. "Every time I've heard the boos of this mob, I've hung my head in despair," he wrote. The other was on grand final morning last year. "I can't run – not the way I want to – so I join the circle that protects those who can," he wrote.

    Again, he is among that circle – almost. "If I've learned one thing over the last 18 years," he said on Tuesday, "it's that you never know what's around the corner."

    Or over the page.
    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  11. #26
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    What can I say, I just love Robbie. Everything is he is and what he stands for - on and off the field. We struck up a friendship about
    11 years ago, when I volunteered at the club. Every time he signs a new pic of us together it is signed with 'love' and in the case of my 60th birthday present this year from my boss - premiership top with his number on the back - was signed from Footscray with love. I will treasure my 60th birthday card forever. Doesn't matter where I see him, at the Club, at functions, VFL or just in the street - I always get my big hugs and kisses. I count myself as very lucky to have him as our Champ, our Captain and my friend. Will miss him so much.
    I bleed Red,White & Blue

  12. #27
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    I haven't been able to bring myself to read or watch any of it.

  13. #28
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    Re: Bob Murphy Announces Retirement

    Memories of Bob.

    I remember taking my daughter to family day when Bob was recruited. It was the worst family day ever with very few in attendance and the event was held outside the ground in the car park. The area was pretty bad as it was pre development of the ground. I encouraged my daughter (who was 6 at the time), to go and ask him for an autograph. Bob looked shy, wearing a beanie, and dressed in his country style of clothes, but also looked a little different than the other guys. He was 18 years old, skinny and very quiet as were all the new recruits, and boy what recruits that year, Gia, Hargrave, Gilbee, Hahn.

    Over the years I have watched him glide around the ground and become a champion of the club, I have watched him kicking winning goals, watched him do his knee twice and watched him become an important player and captain of the club. I have watched him play up forward and play a CHF role under Rocket, and watched him become AA in the backline, including AA Captain - great honour. It was sad when he did his knee last year and missed the GF, but he played his role to help the other players prepare for games throughout the year.

    On a personal note, I have met Bob several times, the most notable playing 18 rounds of golf with himself and Stevo and my mate. We were allocated to his group at an annual golf day (about 12 years ago), with the players and we really had some fun, with Murph making us laugh along the way.

    I think I have seen a huge percentage of Bob's games over the years, well almost all the ones played in Melbourne anyway. From his very first game to tomorrow night, hoping it is not his last.

    It is always sad when a great player (or any player) retires and I will certainly miss him. All the best to Bob in his future endeavours.
    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

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