The Australian Football community is mourning the passing of AFL Queensland Hall of Fame member, Ken Murphy.
Ken played a pivotal role in the development of Australian Football in Queensland through the 1980s as the first full-time General Manager of the QAFL and later as the first Chief Executive of the Brisbane Bears.
Originally from Melbourne, he was a commerce graduate from Melbourne University and did army national service and served as an army officer in 1972-73. He worked in hospitality before joining AFL club St Kilda in 1976, first as appointed management accountant before taking over as General Manager in ‘77.
In addition to his football responsibilities Ken negotiated for the first Melbourne games in World Series Cricket to be played at Moorabbin when other venues shunned the breakaway group. He spent three years as General Manager at St Kilda before being recruited by the QAFL on the strong recommendation of former St. Kilda and Hawthorn coach Allan Jeans. It was a move critical to the growth of the code, adding an extra level of professionalism to the game’s administration. He embraced the strong culture of representative football at the time, relishing Queensland’s Escort Shield / Foster’s Shield hat-trick of 1983-84-85 that was a key platform for the eventual ‘birth’ of the Bears in October 1986.
Ken as vitally involved alongside John Collins and Alan Piper in the battle to secure a Queensland AFL license, and when finally the license was awarded to a joint Paul Cronin/Christopher Skase/QAFL syndicate he was recruited to head the club’s full-time administration for their entry to the national competition in 1987. Filled that role for three years before an extended stint as Chief Executive of the Queensland Newsagents Federation.
In an 18-year involvement with Queensland football Ken also had a voluntary stint in 1991-92 as Chairman of Selectors with QAFL club North Brisbane, coached by Wayne Brittain, and coaching stints at Jindalee and Wests Juniors.
We extend our sincerest condolences to partner Loretta, children Adam and Nicole, extended family and friends and the many people whose lives he touched in a long and extinguished career.
Vale Ken Murphy.