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Letter to my younger self - Bob Murphy

Thanks to AFL Players, Bob Murphy pens a poem reflecting on his career.

5:11pm  Oct 9, 2017

Season Review: Bob Murphy reviews Bob Murphy's 2017 season.

2:24pm  Sep 13, 2017

Dogs calm amidst ‘storm’: Murph

Western Bulldogs captain Robert Murphy says all is calm behind the walls at VU Whitten Oval this week.

4:51pm  Jun 21, 2017

Latest Player Video

Gia Reflects On Bob's Career

12:28pm  Oct 6, 2017

Bob Crowns His Final Rascal

2:39pm  Sep 28, 2017

Bob talks 'Outsiders' on AFL360

2:34pm  Sep 28, 2017

Past Profiles List



187 cm
81 kg

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Warragul
Clubs: Western Bulldogs
Debut: Rd 19 2000 (Carlton)
Recruited from: Warragul / Gippsland U18
Brownlow Votes: 51

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An elite rebounding defender with silky skills and a big heart for the Western Bulldogs football club. His run and composure play an integral part of the Bulldogs transitioning back six. The 2011 All Australian was drafted as the Bulldogs first round selection in the 1999 AFL National Draft (pick 13 overall) with his talent identified early, winning the Western Bulldogs Most Promising Player Award in 2001. It's hard to find a better user of the ball than Murphy, and his poise and agility has not waned in 14 ultra consistent years at the Club.


Season by Season

Season in short

Countless column inches have been dedicated to the fact that Bob Murphy’s season ended with a serious knee injury in round three against Hawthorn.

What hasn’t been discussed nearly as much is the form the 2015 All-Australian captain was in before he went down.

Averaging 28 touches off of half back at 82%, the skipper’s clean and assured use of the football saw that he remained a key figure of the Bulldogs back six, and his 515 average metres gained per match was 39 ahead of his closet teammate.

The stat that mattered

Murphy will look to be just the seventh Bulldog to play 300 games in season 2017.


Season in short:

The influence Bob Murphy had on the Western Bulldogs in season 2015 has simply been immeasurable.

Taking on the mantle of Club captain following a difficult off-season, Murphy stepped up to the challenge like no one could have predicted.

Under his leadership, the Bulldogs rose from 14th to sixth on the AFL ladder, with the veteran defender enjoying his equal, if not best, season on-field.

He averaged 22 disposals and four marks from the half-back line, teaming up with Easton Wood and Matthew Boyd as the generals of the Dogs’ defensive half.

Murphy sat fourth in the competition at the end of the home and away season for bounces, 10th for rebound 50s and 13th for kicks, with his ball use once again the standout of his game.

Most telling, and perhaps the descriptor for Murphy’s season, was his selection on the All-Australian half-back line and an overwhelming choice as the side’s captain.

The 33-year-old signed a one-year contract extension in May, delighting fans in deciding to play on for one more year.

Set to play his 300th game in 2015, Murphy clearly shows no signs of slowing down.


The stat that mattered:

Murphy finished the season at 80 per cent disposal efficiency, the highest of any player in the league who averaged over 22 disposals per game.


What they said:

“It’s been a pretty special year from where we started the year to where it finished and the ride along the way was incredible… I think the secret to playing at 33 is just surround yourself with young and energetic, fit and really talented young footballers so that was the year. We had a generation of players come together and shape our footy team and I was honoured to lead them out every week.” – Bob Murphy, September 2015

“The old boy just keeps getting better. His pace off half-back, his ball use is just impeccable and the way that he sets up an helps the fellow defenders is just amazing so for him to come and captain the Club the way that he did and lead the backline the way that he did, he’s had a sensational year.” – Rohan Smith (Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach), September 2015

Season in short:
Just like fine wine, Robert Murphy is getting better with age. It’s not a cliché, it’s fact.

The 32-year-old veteran half-back didn’t miss a game in season 2014, after a pre-season elbow injury threatened to derail his start to the year.

Murphy played his 250th career match in the away season opener against West Coast, and amassed an equal career best 32-disposals in the Bulldogs round 19 loss to Hawthorn.

Murphy’s consistent season was rewarded with fourth place in the Sutton Medal, placing behind eventual winner Tom Liberatore, and minor placegetters Jack Macrae and Ryan Griffen.

The 2012 All Australian averaged 20.7 disposals per match at 81.6% efficiency in 2014, and upheld his mantle as one of the most creative and damaging rebounding defenders in the competition.

Murphy ranked equal seventh in the league for rebound 50m, and number one at the club for running bounces (equal 11th in the AFL).
Penning a new one-year deal in July, to extend his career into a 16th season in 2015, Murphy’s experience and leadership is as valuable now, more than ever.

Poised to enter the new year with one of the youngest playing lists the Club has fielded in recent times, the veteran half-back is the mature mentor that Bulldogs need.

The stat that mattered
For only the third time in Murphy’s career, he didn’t miss a regular season match.

What they said:
“I'm still enjoying my footy and I obviously love this place so to get another contract, I'm really happy about it.”

“I love seeing how the young guys are shaping our footy club so I'm keen to come along for the ride.”

"But personally I feel good and optimistic about where we are headed as a footy club. I feel I still have something to offer.” – Robert Murphy (17 July, 2014)

Season in short:

Another standout season saw the veteran Murphy finishing fourth in the Bulldogs’ best and fairest despite missing three games through injury. The highly respected leader was at his dashing best, averaging the most kicks, second-most rebound-50s and third-most inside-50s of any player at the Club. He also booted 13 goals when leaving his defensive post, rotating through the wing and deeper into the forward line as required. Among his highlights were classy 29-disposal games against West Coast in Round 18 and Melbourne in Round 23. Murphy’s check-side banana from the Etihad Stadium pocket against Brisbane received the Goal of the Year nomination for Round one.

What they said:

"I'm lucky enough to be paired with Bob Murphy and he speaks to me about all things, footy and life. He's helped me settle in and gives me feedback on my games, so he's been a huge support."

- Jack Macrae, round eight, 2013

The stat that mattered:

Not only did Murphy average the most kicks of any Bulldogs player this season (ranked 14th in the competition for the stat) but he also leads the Club in kicking efficiency. When disposing by foot, Murphy was able to hit a target 84% of the time – almost 4% more than the second placed Bulldog in Dale Morris

The veteran capped off another stellar year to finish sixth in the Charles Sutton Medal count – the highest ranking of any defender. His class and composure in the back line was first rate, providing run out of the defence to place eleventh in the league for rebound 50s. Murphy became a key inspiration and leader to a number of the Bulldogs’ young defensive crop both on and off the field.

Season by Season

The brilliant flanker capped a sensational season with selection in the All-Australian team and winner of the Doug Hawkins Medal as runner-up in the best and fairest. Was the side’s premier playmaker off half-back, leading the club in rebound 50s (111), and his disposal and decision-making were always first class. Collected an equal season-high 26 disposals against Gold Coast in round three, Adelaide in round 13 and West Coast in round 19. Returns to the leadership group where he joins skipper Matthew Boyd, Daniel Cross, Dale Morris and Daniel Giansiracusa.


By the numbers

  • 2019 Season Average
    Games Played
    • Kicks
    • Handballs
    • Disposals
    • Marks
    • Hit-Outs
    • Tackles
    • Goals
    • AFL Fantasy

2019 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 0 - -
Handballs 0 - -
Disposals 0 - -
Marks 0 - -
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 0 - -
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 0 - -

2019 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 0

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 312
    • Kicks 12.6
    • Handballs 5.2
    • Disposals 17.8
    • Marks 5.4
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.6
    • Goals 0.6
    • AFL Fantasy 73.5

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 23 Melbourne Rd 23, 2013
Handballs 15 West Coast Eagles Rd 21, 2015
Disposals 32 Hawthorn Rd 19, 2014
Marks 16 Geelong Cats PF, 2008
Hit-outs 1 Richmond Rd 8, 2004
Tackles 7 Melbourne Rd 14, 2013
Goals 6 Essendon Rd 10, 2005
AFL Fantasy 149 West Coast Eagles Rd 6, 2008

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF


Frees For
Frees Against
AFL Fantasy points


AFL Awards

All Australian
2011, 2015

All Australian Nominee

All Australian Captain

AFLPA Best Captain

NAB AFL Rising Star Nominee

International Rules Series
2002, 2003

Club Awards

Western Bulldogs Captain

Western Bulldogs Runner Up Best and Fairest
2011, 2015

Western Bulldogs Best Team Player

Western Bulldogs Most Promising Player


Western Bulldogs NAB Cup Premiership Side