To celebrate Marc Murphy’s 33rd birthday and his elevation to AFL life membership.
To date Murphy has played 274 games which has him currently 8th in terms most games played for anyone who has represented the Blues. Son of Fitzroy legend John, Murphy opted not to join the Lions under the father son rule and the Blues swooped with pick 1 in the 2005 National draft. Murphy would enjoy a wonderful debut in Rd 1 2006, earning a Rising Star nomination. Such was his start to his career he was already drawing a tag within his first few games. Sadly his debut season was cut short when he was on the end of a bone jarring tackle by Robert Copeland as the Lions seemed intent to target the lad who had passed them up. The shoulder injury ended Murphys debut season. Despite playing just 13 games, he finished 9th in the B&F and was named the AFLPA Best First Year player. In 2007 he played all 22 games as he was now being heavily tagged each week. The arrival of Chris Judd in 2008 freed Murphy up and his relentless running and ball carrying ability saw him take his game to another level. Runner Up in the B&F in both 2008 and 2009, his ability to hit the scoreboard was apparent in 09 with 31 goals. In his first taste of finals in 2009, he was amongst the Blues best in the loss v Brisbane. In 2010 he continued to grow and recorded a 3rd in the B&F in a year in which Chris Judd won the Brownlow Medal and again was one of the better performed in the Elimination Final loss to Sydney. However it was in 2011 that his status within the competition was apparent. Murphy produced a season that was recognised by his peers when voted the AFLPA Player of the Year. Murphy would win his first B&F award by a staggering 209 votes from Chris Judd and recorded a club high 699 disposals. He was best afield in the clubs Elimination Final win over Essendon with 37 disposals and was in Carlton’s best two in the Semi Final loss to West Coast. In 2012, he began the season where he carried off from 2011 with several eye catching displays but his season was interrupted after a bruising collision with Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield which left Murphy with a shoulder injury. Despite missing 6 games, Murphy still finished 5th in the B&F as well as captaining the side in 4 games when Chris Judd was out suspended. In 2013 under new coach Murphy was appointed captain. Criticism followed but the task of taking over from Judd was always going to be a difficult proposition. Murphy would suffer a fractured cheekbone in a clash with Luke Hodge but courageously only missed 1 match. However any doubts about Murphys leadership should have been quashed after the performances he put together in the Rd 23 1 point win over Port Adelaide and the Elimination Final the week after. In both games he willed himself to ensuring victories in both games. In fact Murphy has been in the best players in all six finals matches he has played for the Blues. In 2014 in a season where the wins dried up, Murphy once again was a consistent performer as he recorded another Runners-up finish in the B&F. It was a finish he would achieve for the 4th time in his career in 2015 despite missing the final two rounds with a shoulder complaint.
In 2016 under new coach Brendon Bolton, Murphys leadership grew immeasurably. The Blues were enjoying a run of early season wins and by Round 10 the club was 5-5 with Murphy an integral part of the renaissance. Unfortunately in the Round 10 win over Geelong, Murphy suffered an ankle injury that prematurely ended his season. As the list was turned over, Murphy was now surrounded by talented new faces. In 2017 his leadership continued to blossom as he produced a very consistent season capturing his 2nd B&F award in the process to join a select band to be multiple winners. 2018 proved a frustrating one for Murphy who suffered a foot injury during the warm up prior to Round 4 which resulted in him missing 9 matches. However such was his resolve he got himself up to return in time for Kade Simpson’s 300th whilst also recommiting to the club instead of chasing success elsewhere. At the end of 2018, Murphy stood down as skipper but with the departure of experience players, Murphy recommitted to the club despite interest from Geelong. After a slow start to 2019, his career seemed to get an injection of enthusiasm with the appointment of David Teague. His last minute winning snap v Fremantle being yet another highlight in his career. Murphy would place 8th in the B&F. Thus far in 2020, his footy smarts continue to be a key component to a side that looks on the brink of getting back in the finals mix. That would be a fitting reward for a man who led this side in 111 games, the 4th most in our history.