WARRINGTON WOLVES RUGBY LEAGUE. ALEX MURPHY OBE HALL OF FAME CLOTHING
Alex Murphy served Warrington Wolves Rugby League as player. Also, captain, coach, football executive and club ambassador and was never lost for words and always entertaining.
When he was appointed player-coach in May 1971. Only days after leading Leigh to victory in the Challenge Cup final. He had already been one of the best half-backs in the game for 15 years.
But he was far from being a spent force. And won his 27th and final Great Britain cap against New Zealand in the second Test. Played at Castleford’s Wheldon Road that October.
ALEX MURPHY OBE LED WARRINGTON TO WEMBLEY SUCCESS
He was also a key figure in the Warrington teams who won the League Leaders’ Rose Bowl in 1972-73. And, also claimed the Challenge Cup and Club Championship in May 1974.
But his most remarkable contributions were off the field. He signed some of the best players in the club’s history. These included Kevin Ashcroft, Dave Chisnall, Mike Nicholas, John Bevan, Tommy Martyn, Ken Kelly, Steve Hesford and Bob Eccles.
He then moulded that talent into two fine teams. The Wire of 1973-74 who won four cups. And the Wire of 1977-78 who lifted the John Player Trophy in the Knowsley Road mud. This was before becoming Salford coach in May 1978.
Murphy returned to Wilderspool for a short spell as football executive in January 1996. As part of a “dream team” with coach John Dorahy and set about rebuilding a tired squad.
He was not as successful second time around. But still had a remarkable turn of phrase. For example, after a 19-year-old Toa Kohe-Love had scored a superb try against St Helens in May 1966: “Paul Newlove is the world’s best centre and Toa Kohe-Love went past him as though he wasn’t there. He made him look like a rocking horse.”
Alex Murphy OBE Award
Two years later, in January 1998. Murphy received the OBE in the New Year Honours List. For services to the game and was ready with another quip: “It was a massive surprise when I got the letter from the prime minister. I thought it was a tax demand.”
A playing career of over 500 appearances. These were at three clubs, St Helens, Leigh and Warrington. Where he won lots of honours, including being the only player to captain three different clubs to victory in the Challenge Cup Final. He coached at Leigh, Warrington, Salford, Wigan, St Helens and Huddersfield. As well as England. He coached Leigh to unexpected Championship and Challenge Cup titles.
Rugby League Hall of Fame. St Helens and Warrington Hall of Fame.
In 1988 Murphy was an inaugural inductee into the Rugby League Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the St Helens Hall of Fame. In addition, he is in the Warrington Wolves Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Murphy was signed by Warrington again in February 2010. When he became the club’s first ambassador with the task of “supporting, promoting and enhancing” the club. No one could be better qualified.