Brian Murphy (born 1952 in Cork, Ireland) is a former Irish sportsperson. A dual player at the highest levels, he played hurling and Gaelic football with his local club Nemo Rangers and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county teams in both codes between 1972 and 1982.
Born in Cork in 1952, Brian Murphy is regarded as the most successful dual player of all-time. The winner of every honour in both hurling and Gaelic football he is also considered one of the great Cork players of his generation. Murphy first tasted success at Gaelic games while still a schoolboy, winning All-Ireland and Munster senior football colleges medals, as well as a Munster senior hurling colleges title in 1968 with Coláiste Chríost Rí. His skills were quickly noted and he soon made his way onto the Cork minor football team where he won Munster and All-Ireland titles in 1969. By 1970 Murphy had also made his way onto the Cork minor hurling side, claiming Munster and All-Ireland victory in that year. Earlier in 1970 Murphy, who was still in his final year of secondary school, claimed further Munster and All-Ireland senior football colleges victory. The final has gone down as one of the most exciting ever, with the Corkmen coming back from an eight-point deficit to defeat St. Malachy's of Belfast, a team that included future Northern Ireland soccer international, and current Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill, by a single point.
By 1971 Murphy had finished school and had moved on to the Cork under-21 football side, where he claimed Munster and All-Ireland honours. At this stage of his sporting career Murphy was coming to be recognised as a great dual player, having joined the senior panels of the Cork hurlers and footballers in 1972. That year he won his first Munster Hurling Championship medal, however, the Cork side was defeated in the All-Ireland final by Kilkenny. In 1973 Murphy had one of the most successful years of his career, winning his first Munster and All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling honours. More success was to follow in football when he won his first Munster Senior Football Championship title, as well as his first, and only, All-Ireland medal in senior football. Murphy capped off the year by winning an All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship with his local Nemo Rangers, as well as claiming his first All Star Award for football.
Murphy continued his run of success with Cork by winning another Munster football title in 1974, as well as a National Hurling League medal. 1975 saw him win another Munster hurling medal - the first of five in-a-row for Murphy and Cork - as well as a Munster club football title with Nemo Rangers once again. The following year (1976) saw Cork begin a remarkable series of wins in the hurling championship, with Murphy playing a key role at corner-back. That year he won his first senior All-Ireland medal, before winning a Railway Cup medal with Munster and a second All Star Award for football. In 1977 Murphy claimed his second All-Ireland hurling medal in-a-row, together with his second Railway Cup medal in-a-row. 1978 saw Murphy was instrumental in helping Cork to complete a remarkable three All-Ireland hurling victories in-a-row, marking the team out as one of the greatest of all-time. Once again Murphy completed another treble by claiming a third consecutive Railway Cup title with Munster. In 1979 the Cork senior hurlers almost succeeded in making it to the hurling final again, however, they were defeated by Galway in the semi-final. The year ended, however, with Murphy winning a second All-Ireland club title with Nemo Rangers as well as his first All Star Award in hurling.
1979 was Murphy's last year as a dual star. He retired from inter-county football and decided to concentrate full-time on inter-county hurling. His decision paid off as he won back-to-back National Hurling League titles in 1980 and 1981, as well as his first Railway Cup medal in hurling and another hurling All Star Award. In 1982 and 1983 Murphy won a further two Munster hurling medals, but faced defeat in the All-Ireland finals against Kilkenny. He retired from inter-county hurling following the second defeat. He finished off his playing career by winning two more All-Ireland club titles with Nemo Rangers in 1982 and 1984.
Following his retirement from play, Murphy, a Gardaĩ based in Kilkenny, has remained active in local GAA. He was a selector on the O'Loughlin Gaels club in Kilkenny when his son, also called Brian, won a Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship title in 2003.
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