Vale Graham Murray (1955-2013)

Sadly overnight former player and coach Graham Murray passed away after his life support was switched off in a Brisbane hospital overnight.

Murray had been in poor health this year after surviving an initial heart attack as he was about to start a coaching role with Wynnum-Manly Seagulls earlier this year.  A second heart attack more recently landed him in hospital again, one which would cut his life short.

Following a playing career with Parramatta and South Sydney, Murray ventured into the coaching world.  One of his early successes with being at the helm of the Penrith Panthers Reserve grade team who were victorious in the 1987 Grand Final, the last played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In 1991 he was appointed to coach Illawarra’s first grade side and led the club to their 1992 pre-season cup success and into their first finals series.  Murray coached the Hunter Mariners in their only season in the Australian Super League before heading to the Leeds Rhinos where he won the 1998 grand final and 1999 Challenge Cup.  His two years at the Roosters saw a grand final appearance in 2000 and it could be argued that his legacy at the time set the club up for success in 2002.  He guided the North Queensland Cowboys to their only grand final appearance back in 2005 during a seven-year association with the club.  Murray also coached New South Wales in 2006 and 2007 to series losses.

Away from the game, Graham Murray was a lovable school teacher, teaching maths at Cambridge Park High School in Penrith.  I was honoured to be taught by him in year seven, before he landed his first coaching role at the Steelers.

Graham Murray was respected by the rugby league community and his loss will be felt both in Australia and the United Kingdom.


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