VALE JACK MURPHY
Jack passed away on Wednesday the 4th of February after a three month battle with the effects of a Stroke. We express our sincere condolences to his family and many friends, including countless players that Jack became very close to over the years.
He was introduced to the Club in the very late sixties by former Secretary Colin Davidson and was eventually asked to do basic match statistics by the Senior Coach of the time, John Jenkins.
That role expanded as the number of stats the coaches wanted increased and Jack got more interested in Club Records. Over the years he has done the senior match day stats by himself or with the help of people like Machaela Dwyer and Brian Trewhella, but Jack was always the key man. It was a tough job on wintery windy Saturdays standing on the fence trying to keep the stats sheet dry.
In recent years Jack has confined himself to Club Records and at the end of each season has produced, with the help of his son Graeme, an up to date summary called “ Jack’s Stats”. However, in addition to these pages of Club records and player achievements, they updated a data base that contains the result, location and opponent of every Vermont senior game since the start of the EFL/EDFL in 1962. Jack has seen over 900 senior games and enjoyed 18 Premierships. .
In all, Jack has had about 45 years involvement and there has been few Thursday Nights when Jack has not been at training to see who was selected in the senior side. He would study training like a foreign spy to see if he could detect an injury that would change the selection and he would be first to let other supporters know of his prediction.
Jack also made a culinary appraisal of the pies offered by the canteens at the Club’s we visited on match days. Jack was not happy if he didn’t get his pie and he knew who had the best ones. He may have even kept a personal statistic on their relevant ratings. In later years, Club Trainers like Ben Barker, would ensure that Jack always got his pie.
As he got older, Jack’s life became very much centred on the Footy Club and it provided him with a home where he had so many valued friends who would listen to his many stories, even if they had heard them countless times before. The players are always were very special to him, particularly so of two Tasmanian boys Nathan Henley & Dean Millhouse.
The 94 year old Jack became famous on Anzac day this year (2014) when he collapsed during the Anzac Day March near the Shrine with the TV cameras capturing all the drama. Thankfully, the medicos were close at hand and Jack was revived from certain death. Happily it wasn’t long before he was back at the footy with more tales to tell and more pies. However a few months later, Jack suffered a severe stroke and the result of this was not so good as he was hospitalised till a necessary move in December to Glendale Nursing Home in North Ringwood, where he sadly passed away on the 4th of February. .
Characters like Jack are the heart and soul of Clubs of all descriptions. He has helped make and record Vermont Football Club history that will be appreciated by generations to come. Jack was made a Life Member in 1989.
Thank’s Jack - Rest in Peace
Lee Bidstrup - Club Manager