Kevin Murray crowned an AFL legend - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kevin Murray crowned an AFL legend

By Roger Vaughan 03/06/2010 11:08:06 PM Comments (0)

Fitzroy legend and Brownlow Medallist Kevin Murray, once the games record holder, is the AFL's 23rd official legend.

Murray, who will turn 72 this month, received the honour on Thursday night at the end of the league's annual Hall Of Fame function.

His 333 games for now-defunct Fitzroy were the VFL record when he retired in 1974.

Including night matches, 24 interstate games and a stint with East Perth in the WAFL, Murray's overall total was an amazing 425.

He won the Brownlow in 1969, aged 31, and received the award wearing a long-sleeved guernsey at his parents' request so his famous tattoos were not visible.

Murray was originally a defender and later played as a ruck-rover.

He had great pace and skill and was a strong mark.

Playing against adults when he was just 14, Murray made his VFL debut with Fitzroy when he was 16.

Work as a scaffolder gave him great strength in his upper body and, as his games total suggests, he had impressive durability.

Murray once played out a season despite tearing a shoulder muscle off the bone.

By the time he won the Brownlow, Murray was wearing a back brace during games and often needed treatment twice a week just so he could play.

He won Fitzroy's best and fairest award a record nine times and also reluctantly played as captain-coach for two seasons.

Murray's Fitzroy career was then interrupted by a stint as playing coach at East Perth in 1965-66.

When he returned from Perth, Murray captained the Lions from 1967-72.

His only premiership was a pre-season victory with Fitzroy in 1959.

Murray was named All-Australian twice, made the AFL team of the century as a half-back and was also named captain of Fitzroy's team of the century.

He was only the fourth player to be honoured with an MBE.

"Us old stiffs - I just want to thank the AFL for creating this Hall Of Fame, because you acknowledge footballers, umpires, administrators ... it's a great part about this game," Murray said in his acceptance speech.

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