Murdoch vital in Marist’s success
A funeral home vehicle will take the late Jeff Murdoch on a last lap of the Marist Rugby Club grounds before a service is held for him in Invercargill today.
Murdoch, who died on Thursday after a short battle with cancer, was involved with the club for 41 years.
He held managerial roles, along with being the senior team’s masseur for 34 years, club president Bill Dowling said.
‘‘Jeff was a loyal club man, gave his all for the club.
‘‘You could rely on him. He was always doing things for the club to make it a better place.’’
A life member of the club, Murdoch was on the committee from 1984 until he died, and had stints as president, vicepresident and club captain. In 2011, he was named New Zealand Marist’s Personality of the Year.
New Zealand Marist, of Auckland, is made up of Marist rugby clubs throughout the country.
Murdoch was manager-masseur for three NZ Marist Colts tours and went with Marist teams, from Invercargill, to overseas competitions. He was the Southland Stags masseur twice, from 1996 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2003.
He was thinking of stepping down as the Marist team’s masseur in 2016, but changed his mind before the start of the 2017 season.
Murdoch said to president Dowling that he would stay on in the role because he wanted to be part of a Galbraith Shield winning team.
Yvonne Frew was the masseuse when the team won the shield in 2001.
Sixteen years went by before Murdoch achieved his goal. Marist won the shield in 2017 and again in 2018. Scott Ede was captain for both wins.
‘‘Jeff’s going to be a huge loss . . . he made a big contribution to Marist,’’ Eade said.
The lap of honour is at 12.30pm today, with the service at the Avenal Park Chapel at 2pm.
Marist Rugby Club masseur Jeff Murdoch works on a leg before kick off.