John Murphy (Australian rules footballer)

John Murphy (born 20 November 1949) is a former Australian rules footballer who played in the Victorian Football League (now AFL).

John Murphy
Personal information
Full name John Murphy
Date of birth (1949-11-20) 20 November 1949
Original team(s) Heidelberg
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)[1]
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1967–1977 Fitzroy 214 (326)
1978–1979 South Melbourne 023 0(40)
1979–1980 North Melbourne 009 00(8)
Total 246 (374)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1980.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Playing career

Murphy debuted with the Fitzroy Football Club in 1967 after being recruited from Heidelberg, and went on to set the record for consecutive games played from debut -158 matches. This record held until 2005 when surpassed by Jared Crouch from Sydney.[2]

Murphy was made captain of Fitzroy in 1973, a position he held until he left the club at the end of the 1977 season after 214 games and winning five Fitzroy Club Champions[3] across half-forward and in the midfield. His departure was due to internal disputes with the club over his comments over some players that he thought should have been discarded from the club.[4]

In 1978, he moved to South Melbourne playing 23 games in a season and a half. He again changed clubs late in the 1979 season, moving to North Melbourne where he played his first ever finals match. He retired from the VFL in 1980 after injuries struck.[4]

In 1981, Murphy moved to Tasmania to captain-coach the Ulverstone in the North Western Football Union. He won the Wander Medal as the league's best and fairest.

Following his playing career, Murphy had two coaching stints in the VFA/VFL. He coached Werribee briefly from 1983 until 1985, without much success. Then, from 1993 to 1998, John Murphy was coach of the Box Hill Football Club and is the Club's longest serving coach. He coached the Club to its first Division One grand final in the VFA in 1994, in which Box Hill was defeated by Sandringham by the narrow margin of 9 points. He received life membership of the Box Hill Football Club in 1998.

Murphy currently works as the Dispute Settlement Officer in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League.

He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and is the centreman in Fitzroy's official "Team of the Century".[5]


When Fitzroy's official 'Team of the Century' was announced in 2002, he was named in the centre.[5] Murphy was admitted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame on 22 June 2006.[6]

His son, Marc Murphy, was the number one draft pick in the 2005 AFL Draft.[7] Marc considered a move to the Brisbane Lions under the father-son rule, as John played for Fitzroy, a club that merged with the Brisbane Bears to form the Lions. However, he nominated for the National Draft instead, and was selected by Carlton with the first overall selection.

After Marc's 100th game in 2010, Marc, John and John's father Leo Murphy (who played 132 games for Hawthorn in the 1930s) became the only father-son-grandson combination in league history to each play 100 games.[8]


  1. AFL Stats (2008). AFL PLayers: John Murphy. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  2. Sydney Morning Herald (2005). How a piece of paper proved just the ticket for Crouch. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  3. Brisbane Lions (2008). Fitzroy Football Club Honour Roll 1897 - 1996 Archived 10 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  4. Full Points Footy (2008). AFL Players: John Murphy. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  5. Footy Stamps (2006). Fitzroy Team of the Century. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  6. Australian Football League (2008). Hall of Fame: Players. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  7. Gouth, Paul (2005). Carlton Football Club. Deledio the guide for Murphy Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 6 May 2008.
  8. Tony De Bolfo 100 Club is Murphy's lore Archived 26 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 18 August 2010
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