Robert "Bob" Murphy (born 9 June 1982) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League. Renowned for his silky skills and leadership qualities, Murphy has also proven himself a versatile player, equally capable of playing in attack or in defence depending on the situation. He will captain the Western Bulldogs in 2015.
Murphy is the third and youngest child of John and Monica Murphy. Both parents belonged formerly to Catholic orders, John as a priest and Monica as a nun. He has one brother, Ben, and a sister, Bridget.
In 2005, under new coach Rodney Eade, Murphy cemented a place as a small centre half forward. He kicked 33 goals from this position and his overhead marking and leading ability were invaluable to the team. As part of the leadership group he led his younger team mates by great example across the half forward line.
On 26 May 2006 Murphy injured his left knee during a horrible collision in the Bulldogs' 34-point loss to Collingwood. This injury caused him to miss the remainder of the 2006 season, including what would have been his first finals series. After successful reconstruction, he returned to action in the 2007 NAB Cup series in February 2007. He injured his right knee early in the 2008 season, but played on for the remainder of the season, before undergoing surgery to repair a damaged patellar tendon in September 2008.
Murphy was back to form resembling his best in 2010, when he posted his second top-five finish in the club best and fairest. He spent more time across half-back, where his disposal and decision-making were up to his usual high standard. In games against Essendon and Fremantle he collected a career-best 28 disposals. He missed three games mid-year with a knee injury which was again aggravated in the preliminary final, requiring post-season surgery.
In 2011 he had one of his best ever seasons, finishing second in the Bulldogs' best and fairest award, and earning his first selection in an All-Australian team, being named on a half-back flank.
Murphy is married to Justine, and has two children – a son, Jarvis, and a daughter, Frankie.
He writes a weekly column in the sport section of The Age newspaper. An article about playing against Steve Johnson earned Murphy a highly commended prize in the 2012 Australian Football Media Association awards. He is a regular panelist on the AFL 360 television talk show on Fox Footy.