Palliative Care’s $25,000 boost

By Robert Muir

It was just like his inspirational football playing days with St Kida and Victoria when full-back Bob Murray helped Mornington Peninsula Home Hospice (PHH) raise about $25,000 with its annual charity golf event at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort. 

Murray was special guest speaker at the wind-up dinner on Wednesday, June 5 of the PHP’s three-day golf classic which featured 67 golfers, 90 diners and a brilliantly conducted auction of sporting memorabilia.

Regarded as the best full-back in Australia in the late 1960s, the 77-year-old former primary school teacher’s address linked his teaching and football days.

A 153-game career with the Saints from 1963 to 1974, Murray represented his state eight times at full-back and won his club’s best and fairest award in 1969.

First to receive his praise were St Kilda’s coach Allan Jeans and Hawthorn’s coach John Kennedy. “These two persons were just the epitome of what’s great in people – uncompromising, dedication but also about your lifestyle ad character,” he said.

“Ron Barassi and Kevin Sheedy also had that charisma. You listened to every word they said.”

Murray played against all the best full-forwards, “Hudson, Wade McKenna, Noonan, Jesaulenko, Hart and Fordham”. “I rated Peter Hudson the hardest – he always knew where the footy was going before you did.

“My best players were Ian Stewart and Daryl Baldock. I couldn’t separate them.”

The champion full-back, who along with many others, often used the drop-kick, revealed interesting information from his playing days and some lighthearted moments from his teaching career.

“Footy was recreational and we worked during the week,” Murray explained. “In that 1966 grand-final win (one-point over Collingwood) there were 105,000 people there. At $2 a head, that’s $210,000. All the players were paid $50 a head. No-one ever worried about the money because we played the game. We would have paid to play.” 

Bob’s pay for home and away games was $25. He particularly loved his only VFL (AFL) grand-final but earlier, at Sandringham also featured in a one point premiership victory over Moorabbin, after being 44 points down at the last break. 

“Bob’s got one (VFL/AFL) premiership. I’ve got seven!” Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck said. ‘Tucky’ was a special guest. Both love their golf and loved catching up with each other.

Established on the Mornington Peninsula in 1984, PHH is an accredited not-for-profit community palliative care organization based in Frankston.

YMGCR’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Ferguson thanked the two football greats for their attendance. “It is a privilege to be standing up here with you,” the CEO said.

MC and PHH organizer extraordinaire, excellent tennis player and golfer Pat Randall, said she was very pleased to see so many friends playing on the “fabulous golf courses”.

“I thank Evan Droop and his team at the Pro Shop for three wonderful days of organization,” she said. “I very sincerely thank all the sponsors. YMGCR is a magnificent facility and the food’s superb.

“And our auctioneer, Andrew Shell, was brilliant. The approximated $25,000 raised is a bit up on last year’s and a great result.”