AFTER almost a year out of life as a professional footballer, Bob Murphy says he doesn’t yet feel like an ex-player, but knows he has fallen in love with the game again.
Murphy’s second book, Leather Soul, was released on Monday and chronicles his early days as a skinny but talented youngster in Warragul, being drafted by the Dogs and fitting in among the likes of Luke Darcy and the Dogs champions of the day.
It reaches its crescendo telling the tale behind the infamous moment after the 2016 grand final and also details the excruciating knee injury that led to Murphy missing that year’s long-awaited premiership triumph.
But it’s far from your typical football book, just how Murphy wanted it to be, and written in his trademark understated, almost folksy tone.
“I wanted to do something different, so many of the football books are about the champions of the game and I guess I thought I had a different story to tell,” he said.
“I always liked the idea of a player chronicling the end of a career, and then the career went a bit longer that I thought so it became a bit of a captain’s diary.”
Murphy writes about how much of his life has been governed by routine, and his writing was the same.
“I used to get up at 5am and write. It was definitely inconvenient, but I felt like that was my best chance to get a crack at it. I couldn’t do it at night because there ere too many distractions,” he said.
This year, along with finalising the book, he has his own TV show – Bob, airing on Fox Footy– and has been working in commentary on radio with Melbourne station SEN.
He says it has helped him find a new side of the game to love.
“It’s almost like falling in love again. I didn’t watch a lot of footy while I was playing, you just never had the time, but it’s a different way of watching,” he said.
“I was wondering whether my eye would still be in and whether I could still identify things and I’ve y loved it. I worked the Richmond vs Collingwood game at the weekend and I was like a little kid again at three-quarter time, just immersed in that match.”
Murphy will be appearing at Dymocks Bendigo next Tuesday, August 7 to sign copies of Leather Soul.
– Joel Peterson