Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy has given Luke Beveridge back his Jock McHale medal, awarded for being the winning coach in the 2016 AFL grand final.
Beveridge handed the medal to Murphy at the trophy presentation directly after Saturday’s stunning win, because Murphy had missed the grand final and most of his side’s premiership-winning season through injury.
“I put him in a difficult situation, but he had to have recognition,” Beveridge said of Murphy at the club’s best and fairest count on Wednesday evening.
“He returned the Jock McHale medal, he gave it back to me on Sunday morning. He said he couldn’t keep it, but he thanked me for the gesture.
“The medal will go in the Western Bulldogs’ museum as a symbol of the camaraderie and respect that Bob has fostered over the course of his career at the Western Bulldogs.”
Murphy ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in round three and missed the Bulldogs’ incredible charge to a drought-breaking flag.
Beveridge invited Murphy onto the stage at the MCG on Saturday to lift the cup with stand-in captain Easton Wood.
“Bob Murphy has dedicated most of his life to playing Aussie Rules, he has invested 17 years in our football club,” Beveridge said.
“This year, you could see the strain form the emotional and physical journey he was on as he rehabilitated form his knee reconstruction. But he supported and drove his teammates and program as captain of our club.
“Our 2016 journey aged him. You can see it in the new lines on his face and in the grey in his hair. Apologies mate, but it’s true though. You can see it.”
Marcus Bontempelli won the club’s Ted Whitten Medal for best and fairest in a canter, and at 20 years old became the youngest winner of the award since 1968.
Liam Picken was named the club’s best player in the finals.
– with ABC