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Bob Murphy

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About me

  • Western Bulldogs
  • Sport
  • Australian Rules Football
  • AFL
  • Media
  • Entertainment

Robert 'Bob' Murphy is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Renowned for his silky skills and leadership qualities, Murphy has also proven himself a versatile player, equally capable of playing in attack or in defence depending on the situation. He was appointed as the Bulldogs' captain in 2015 and retired in 2017 after 312 games. 

He is married to wife Justine, and they have  three children – a son, Jarvis, and two daughters, Frankie and Delilah. They also have two rescued cattle dogs, Tex and Stevie but don’t own any cattle…

Early life

Murphy is the third and youngest child of John and Monica Murphy. Both parents belonged formerly to Catholic orders, John as a priest and Monica as a nun. Their love story is hard to beat.  Bob also has one brother, Ben, and a sister, Bridget.

AFL career

Murphy was drafted to the Western Bulldogs with pick 13 in the 1999 National Draft. After spending much of the 2000 season developing his slim frame, he made his debut in Round 19 against Carlton at Princes Park. 

In 2005, under new coach Rodney Eade, Murphy cemented a place as a small centre half forward. He kicked 33 goals and took 172 marks in what was a breakout season. 

On 26 May 2006 Murphy injured his left knee during a horrible collision in the Bulldogs' 34 point loss to Collingwood. This injury caused him to miss the remainder of the 2006 season, including what would have been his first finals series.

After successful reconstruction, he returned to the field and recaptured his best form in 2008, but was once again cut down by knee surgery at seasons end, this time a patella tendonopathy was required. 

In 2011 he had one of his best ever seasons, finishing second in the Bulldogs' best and fairest award, and earning his first selection in an All-Australian team, being named on a half-back flank.

After a dramatic 2014 (for the club), in 2015 Bob was named ‘best captain’ at the AFLPA awards becoming just the fourth player to win the award in his first year and was also named captain of the All Australian team becoming the first ever player to collect both honours in the same season.

On 10 April 2016, in the final minutes of the Bulldogs three-point loss to Hawthorn, Murphy sustained a knee injury while contesting a mark in the Hawks' forward 50. Scans later revealed he had injured his knee and had sustained a season-ending ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

The Bulldogs would go on to win the premiership that season with Bob looking on from the sidelines in one of the most dramatic Grand Finals in the games history. 

Murphy later confirmed that he would play on for the Dogs in the 2017 season, but retired at the end of that season with the team unable to reach the heights of the previous season. 

Post AFL Career

Murphy features frequently in the media. He writes a weekly column in the sport section of The Age newspaper. An article he wrote about playing against Steve Johnson earned him a highly commended prize in the 2012 Australian Football Media Association awards.

Murphy has written 2 books (not ghost written). ‘Murphy’s Lore’ is a compendium of his Age columns, while ‘Leather Soul’ is his memoir. 

He was formerly a regular panelist on the AFL 360 television talk show on Fox Footy. He is now a frequent guest of the show while not a regular panelist.

Murphy now works at the Fremantle Dockers as their Head of Leadership. 

Available in

Need me to travel to your location? I will travel for opportunities in:
Western Australia

My Specialist Topics

Specialist topics are areas where I will excel speaking about.


We have been running these events for years, and Bob was the best speaker we've had in all of our 52+ events. He gave a brilliant presentation, mixed with great humour which kept our audience enamoured and hanging off of every word he said.
Terry Culley, Old Boys Business Club