Robert Murphy playing for the Bulldogs during the round 21 match against the Giants at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Robert Murphy playing for the Bulldogs during the round 21 match against the Giants at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. DAVID CROSLING

'There will be people who think their son has left'

WESTERN Bulldogs captain Robert Murphy has called time on his illustrious career.  

The much loved 35-year-old is the last player remaining from the 1999 draft and announced he will hang up the boots at season's end after 310 games across 18 years with the one club.  

In a heartfelt, emotional and funny press conference, Murphy thanked a range of people and things, from the Warragul colts, the "handsome devil" Luke Beveridge and Ben Hudson's beard.  

"When players started wearing headphones in the warm-up, I knew it was time to move on," Murphy laughed when announcing his decision.  

On a more serious note, "Bob" said there was an "ache" that he missed playing in the club's 2016 premiership victory, but said "there was no bigger Bulldogs supporter" than him.  

"When I got to the halfway point of this year and my body let me know I couldn't go again, that was a relief," he said.   "It's the connection of what you're a part of, but also the smell of a footy makes me feel like a nine-year-old kid again."  

Beveridge was also emotional while speaking of his friend and captain.  

"When he walks out the door, there will be people who think their son has left," he said.  

"When you think of the impression he's left, he should walk away fulfilled at the end of his career."

Murphy is a two-time All-Australian, though missed out on the team's drought-breaking premiership last season after an ACL injury had ended his year early.  

He was famously given coach Luke Beveridge's premiership medal in the immediate aftermath of the Dogs' flag win, highlighting the regard in which he's held at by the club and the AFL.  

He was named captain of the Western Bulldogs in 2015, a position he held for three years.

News Corp Australia

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