Beloved Bulldog Bob Murphy Has Announced His AFL Retirement

The career of easily one of the most universally liked and respected players to ever grace an AFL field is set to come to a close.

Bob Murphy, the Western Bulldogs champion and walking embodiment of the phrase “son of the west,” has announced the 2017 season will be his last. This announcement brings to a close a career that will see some 308+ games, 2 All-Australian selections, and one of the most enduring and emotional moments in AFL Grand Final history.

Bob’s retirement also carries with it the quirk of being the last player drafted in the 1990s to retire, and also shifts the title of “oldest current AFL player” to West Coast’s Drew Petrie, following the retirement of a raft of fellow veterans.

Bob exhibited a love for his club that rivalled few throughout his enduring and historic career, practically bleeding red, white, and blue from the moment he was drafted as a pimply teen at pick 13 in the 1999 National Draft.

Bob’s silky skills and heart shown on-field endeared him to Bulldogs fans, but it was his calm demeanour and exemplary leadership that found him a place in even the most casual of football fan’s hearts.

Murphy assumed captaincy of the embattled club in 2015, and lead a remarkable resurgence that culminated with the Bulldogs’ historic 2016 AFL Grand Final victory, with an injured Murphy – who had to watch the game from the coach’s box – called up onto the dais by coach Luke Beveridge to take Beveridge’s own Premiership medal before hoisting the Dogs’ first Premiership cup in 62 years aloft.

Speaking to media a short time ago, Bob stated that he’ll miss the walk onto the ground the most, and expressed a desire to write about football in the future.

Bob joins a raft of modern day greats retiring in 2017, with the stacked class of future Hall of Famers counting the likes of Luke HodgeNick RiewoldtJobe WatsonMatt PridisSteve JohnsonScott ThompsonJosh Gibson, and the almighty Dennis Armfield (deserves his own wing in the dang building, all other opinions on this are wrong).

Bob was arguably the central figure in one of the most emotionally overwhelming weeks in football Melbourne has ever experienced – anyone present in the city during the lead-up to last year’s Grand Final will note how universally invested practically the entire population was in the rise of the Dogs – and as different a cat as there ever has been in recent footy memory.

Cheers, Bob. Enjoy retirement. We’ll raise one for you at the Commercial Club tonight.