Vale Graham Murray

Sunday 28th July saw the passing of the former NRL Grand Final coach, State of Origin Coach and Pirtek Parramatta Eels halfback, Graham Murray. Murray died overnight in Brisbane after suffering a heart attack at the age of 58.


Muzza first entered the game of Rugby League in 1976 as a halfback for Parramatta reserve grade. Recognised for his skilled read of play and deft passing at the line, he was quickly considered too skilled to play reserve grade and went on to play 88 first grade games for the Eels and later South Sydney.


Murray was quietly spoken yet highly organised and began his coaching career as the reserve grade coach for Penrith and took them to their first premiership in 1987. In 1991 he became coach of the Illawarra Steelers, within a year saw them win the 1992 Tooheys Pre Season Challenge and make their first appearance in the finals. This earned him the title of Dally M Coach of the Year.


In the late nineties, Murray coached Super League team the Hunter Mariners, took Leeds to the English Super League grand final in 1998 and a Challenge Cup Victory in 1999.


In 2000 Murray got the Roosters their first grand final appearance in 20 years. He soon made a big impact for the Cowboys who appeared in the finals series for the first time in 2004. The following year the club played in the grand final for the first time.


Murray also coached for both teams of State of Origin and City Origin throughout his career and was greatly respected in the National Rugby League.


Pirtek Parramatta Eels head coach Ricky Stuart says 'Muzza' will be sorely missed.


"Graham was wonderful man, a good friend and always a great bloke to go have a beer with. He loved this game so much and his passing is a huge loss to Rugby League," he said.


2013 would have been the year that Murray began coaching the Jillaroo World Cup Team and Wynnum Manly, however he suffered his first heart attack early in the year. In early July, the Jillaroos dedicated their first triumph to Murray who sadly suffered another heart attack shortly there after.


ARL Commission Chairman, Mr John Grant said, Graham was just a wonderful human being who was deeply respected across the game. His passing at such a young age is a tragedy and on behalf of the Commission and everyone in the Rugby League Community I extend the games deepest sympathies to his wife, Amanda, and his family.


Mr Geoff Carr, outgoing NSW Rugby League Chief Executive said that Graham Murray was someone who held a special place in the game.


Graham played and coached at the highest level of the most intense competition in Australian sport and in that time I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him. As well as being an outstanding coach he was simply a great friend to many people in the game and a great family man who will be sorely missed.


Rest in peace, Muzza.