Emotional Murphy’s pride at AFL triumph

A bottle of champagne in one hand and a beer in the other, Bob Murphy stood in the Western Bulldogs rooms and savoured a moment he thought might never come.

The Bulldogs had conquered their Everest, beating Sydney in an epic grand final at the MCG on Saturday to claim their first AFL premiership since 1954.

Like most Bulldogs fans, Murphy thought he must be dreaming.

It was a bittersweet experience for the 34-year-old, who could only watch on from the sidelines after tearing his ACL earlier in the season.

But coach Luke Beveridge made sure the Bulldogs’ beloved leader was involved in the post-game presentations, bringing him up onto the podium and presenting him with a medal of his own.

The moment brought the house down and left an emotional Murphy struggling for words afterwards.

“It’s a hard thing to put into words because it’s very special,” he said.

“He’s an incredibly special human being. I love him for it. In some ways, I think, it’s not the same as the other boys’ medals, it’s not the same as the 22, but for me, it means just as much.

“This is my footy club. I couldn’t be prouder. I couldn’t be happier. I’m just a very, very happy man.”

The Bulldogs’ premiership triumph is all the more remarkable for the fact they managed it despite none of the 22 having played in a grand final before.

Murphy could barely contain his pride after the game, describing the moments of “orchestral brilliance” that cut through an otherwise workmanlike performance.

“When Tom Boyd went up high and slotted it through, that was the prettiest of notes,” he told ABC Grandstand.

“I love these boys so much. They really get it.

“It’s a game of head and heart. They worked their way through the head and they are all heart. I’m very proud to stand among them.”

Murphy considered retiring after suffering his season-ending knee injury in the early stages of 2016 but eventually decided to play on next year.

And having finally tasted premiership success, he reckons the Bulldogs won’t be giving it up lightly.

“We’re taking over the world tonight,” he said with a grin.

“The first call of business is to get rolling drunk. We’ll get to the taxes tomorrow.”

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