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Ken Murphy memorial service

Peter Blucher  May 19, 2017 11:20 AM

Ken Murphy, former Chief Executive of AFL Queensland and the Brisbane Lions, will be remembered at a memorial gathering on Wednesday afternoon, 24 May, at the Queensland Cricketers’ Club (4pm).

Members of the football community are invited to join friends and family in paying tribute to the massive role Murphy played in Queensland football in the 1980s.

The 71-year-old died suddenly in Italy last month while on holidays.

Murphy, an inaugural inductee to the Queensland Football Hall of Fame in 2008, played a pivotal role in the development of Australian Football in Queensland through the 1980’s, particularly the establishment of the Brisbane Bears / Lions.

Originally from Melbourne, he was a commerce graduate from Melbourne University and did army national service, serving as a second lieutenant posted to Signals Corp in 1972-73 after graduating from the Officer Training Unit in Scheyville in NSW.

He worked in the food and hospitality industry before joining AFL club St.Kilda in 1976, first appointed as management accountant before taking over as General Manager in 1977.

In addition to his football responsibilities he conducted key negotiations for the first Melbourne games in the history-making World Series Cricket, to be played at Moorabbin when other venues shunned the breakaway group.

He spent three years as General Manager at St.Kilda before being recruited by the QAFL on the strong recommendation of legendary St.Kilda and Hawthorn coach Allan Jeans.

It was a move critical to the growth of the code in Queensland, adding an extra level of professionalism to the administration and consolidating ties with the local body and AFL head office in Melbourne.

The QAFL’s first full-time General Manager, serving in that role from 1980-86, he embraced the strong culture of representative football at the time, relishing the Queensland’s State ream’s Escort Shield / Foster’s Shield hat-trick of 1983-84-85 that was a key platform for the eventual ‘birth’ of the Bears in October 1986.

He was vitally involved alongside John Collins and Alan Piper in the battle to secure a Queensland AFL license, and when finally the license was awarded to a joint Paul Cronin/Christopher Skase/QAFL syndicate he was recruited to head the club’s full-time administration for their entry to the national competition in 1987.

He filled that role for three years, and later had a voluntary stint in 1991-92 as Chairman of Selectors with QAFL club North Brisbane, coached at the time by Wayne Brittain, and coaching stints at Jindalee and Wests Juniors.

Later he was Chief Executive of the Queensland Newsagents Federation from 1990-2004, and also served as Corporate Development Manager at United Retailers Federation (formerly Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association), Business Development Manager at the National Retailers Association (Qld), and Corporate Relations Manage for Diabetes Queensland.

He also was appointed to the State Government Advisory Committee for Small Business, and worked as a private consultant predominantly in not-for-profit organisations.