Mur­doch vi­tal in Marist’s suc­cess

The Southland Times - - News - Jamie Searle

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.

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