Kevin Murray – Retired Australian Rules Football Player

Kevin Murray, also known as Kevin Joseph ‘Bulldog’ Murray was one of the most decorated players of Fitzroy Football Club.

Born on June 18, 1938, Kevin Murray was decorated with order of chivalry known as MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). He was one of the best players Fitzroy ever had. He made his debut in Victorian Football League for Fitzroy against Geelong on May 7, 1955. Though Kevin played a total of 333 games for Fitzroy, which was a VFL record, 208 of those 333 games ended in loses, making Kevin the only player to register that many loses as an individual player. In addition to those 333 games, he also played 44 games for WANFL.

Playing Career

1955-1964: Fitzroy

Kevin MurrayKevin started playing for Fitzroy in 1955. His debut match was against Geelong in Round 4. During this phase with the club, Kevin went on to win Best and Fairest award for 6 times of which 5 were in a row from seasons 1960 to 1964.

In 1963, he was assigned as a playing coach for the team. He picked up the same responsibility again for the next season. However, in 1964, apart from being a playing coach he also captained and represented the home state of Victoria.

1965-1966: Western Australia

In year 1965, Kevin decided to move to Western Australia both as a coach and as captain for East Perth Football Club. In those two seasons, Kevin played a total of 44 games for West Australian National Football League. In 1965, he played in an interstate match played between WA and VFA where he played for WA and won the Simpson Medal for being the best player in the match. For the same match he also won the Best and Fairest award of East Perth. In 1966 Hobart Carnival, he captained Western Australia and led East Perth to Grand Finals of the West Australian National Football League. East Perth however lost to Perth, which was coached and captained by Mal Atwell. Mal Atwell formerly played for East Perth but moved to Perth because he could not agree with the methods Murray used to coach East Perth.

1967-1974: Fitzroy

Murray returned to Fitzroy in 1967 and went on to win the Best and Fairest award in 1968 and 1969. Kevin continues to play for Fitzroy till 1974.

1975-1976: Sandringham Football Club

In 1975, Kevin joined Sandringham Football Club and continued to play as a playing coach and captain for the team till 1976 in VFA or Victorian Football Association.

Awards And Achievements

There is absolutely no doubt that Kevin Murray was one of the best players to have ever played for Fitzroy or in Australian Rules. His bag of awards and achievements is big. Here are some of the most important highlights of his career:

  • Kevin represented Victoria on 24 occasions.
  • He was included in All-Australian side in years 1958 and 1966.
  • Kevin also represented Western Australia on 6 occasions.
  • He won the Brownlow Medal in 1969.
  • He won the Best and Fairest award of East Perth in 1965.
  • Kevin won the Best and Fairest award of Fitzroy in years 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968 and 1969.
  • He also won the Best Player and Simpson Medal in 1965 in a match between WA and VFA.
  • He was a member of the AFL Team of the Century.
  • Kevin was also inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2010, making him a legend of VFL/AFL.

After Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions merged into Brisbane Lions at the end of 1996 season, the championship award for the Lions’ club was partly named after Murray as Merrett-Murray Medal.

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