Vale Frank Bede Murray (7/12/1920 - 25/7/2008) aged 87 years
Frank Murray (282 Club games) died on Friday 25 July 2008. He is survived by his brother Wilfred (179 Club games), his wife of over 50 years Thelma (Loyal Glebe Supporter), his five children and 16 grandchildren. He was a fitter and turner by trade, but moved into the Public Service where he gradually worked his way up through the ranks.
Frank was raised in Alfred St Forest Lodge, a stone's throw from Jubilee Oval Glebe. He joined the Club in 1938 aged 17 and played until the 1961 season aged 41. For most of his hockey career Frank played at inside left or left half.
This hockey career was interrupted by a stint in the Australian Army during World War Two. He joined the Australian Army mid 1942 and serviced until September 1945, first on the Brisbane Line at Toowoomba, and later in New Guinea.
Frank played in the Premiership winning Glebe first grade teams of 1940, 1941 and 1942. In 1941 Frank was the inaugural winner of the W J Taylor Cup, which was awarded by the Management Committee to the "Most Improved Player" for the season. The Cup was named after William Taylor (1883-1952) who succeeded Founder Brother Macartan Keegan as Patron of the Club, and was a driving force in Club affairs. After War Service Frank recommenced with Glebe in 1946, and played in the Club's first grade team which lost 2-1 to Northern Districts in the grand-final.
In 1947 Glebe's golden era began and Frank was part of it. The Club's first grade team won seven premierships on the trot from 1947-1953 inclusive. This record is still unsurpassed in Sydney Hockey. No other Club has ever won seven successive first grade premierships. In 1954 Glebe were beaten in the first grade grand-final by Saint George, but bounced back to win the first grade grand-final in 1955 and 1956.
Photo caption: Frank Murray (wearing check jumper), captain of the 1955 Glebe first grade premiership winning team shown accepting the Markham Cup from the Rex Banks, President of the Sydney Men's Hockey Association, at Saint Paul's Oval Sydney University, after Glebe's grand-final victory.
Frank succeeded Billy Ryan as first grade captain in 1955 and captained the 1955/56 first grade premiership winning teams. In total Frank played in 12 Glebe first grade premiership winning teams, an outstanding feat in anybody's language. The Glebe first grade team of this era was a champion team, as opposed to a team of champions, and Frank was a vital cog in the well oiled machine.
In 1950 Frank played in the New South Wales Senior team at the Australian Championships. His temperament was good and nothing ruffled Frank. His equipoise, balance, concentration and his ability to read a game were outstanding. He had a steadying influence on the teams he played in, and his calming words at half-time and after the game provided well thought out insights into a team's performance.
Above all Frank was a team man, a quiet achiever. He played an unselfish game, he played with his mates and he had fun doing it. He was Club Captain for four years from 1950-1953. Some of the players who played alongside Frank during his hockey career were Vince Halls, Harry and Ken Wark, Billy Ryan, Bob Needham, Les Waight, Vernon Turner, David McNiven, Noel Walker, Fred Needham, Jack Sutherland, Jack Taylor, Harry Butler, Kevin Ryan (Best Man at Frank's wedding), Tom Taylor, Jack Cummings, Kelvin Dickey, Melton Pitt, Ray Thorpe, Bill Lord, Sid Cainduff and Jim Kenny.
When he left Forest Lodge, Frank and his wife Thelma moved to Jannali where they lived until 2000, before they moved to John Paul Village at Heathcoat. Frank had a stroke in 2001, which affected his speech and mobility. He bore his disability with good grace and good cheer.
For over 20 years Frank made a substantial contribution to the Glebe District Hockey Club, both on and off the field. Frank and players of his era handed the Club on to succeeding generations, in good shape.
The Glebe District Hockey Club expresses its condolences to Frank's wife Thelma and to the Murray Family. Frank was a religious man and I am confident he has achieved his eternal reward in Heaven