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Dual-code man Murphy handed key RU mission.

Byline: By Doug Thomson

Fartown saviour Mick accepts chairman's post at Huddersfield

Mick Murphy, the former dual-code rugby ace who helped saved Huddersfield Rugby League Club from the scrapheap, is turning his attentions towards reviving the town's rugby union club.

The one-time Wales league international, who is a professional actor and runs a string of children's nurseries, has become chairman of Huddersfield RU in succession to Alan Ibberson, who becomes vice-chairman.

Liverpudlian Murphy, a 62-year-old former teacher who has made a success of a number of varied business ventures, teamed up with Neil Shuttleworth and Jim Collins to drag Fartown away from financial ruin in late 1988.

Having begun his rugby career at Liverpool union club Waterloo, the forward turned professional with Leigh and also played for Barrow, St Helens, Bradford and Blackpool, and had spells in Australia and France.

A qualified coach and referee in both rugby codes, he first became involved at Huddersfield RU after taking son Michael to play for the juniors in 1996.

While Michael has come through the ranks and made his first-team bow last season - he is also a regular for league club Underbank Rangers in National III - Mick played for the union club's Extra C side until the age of 60.

"I started playing rugby at 10, so I thought 50 years was enough," he said.

Now his efforts will be channelled into playing his part in what he says will be an all-round team effort to revive a club which finds itself back in North II East.

"The last two seasons have been tough going, but we mustn't forget how much this club has going for it.

"It was once one of the foremost clubs in the North, and that history is something which should inspire us.

"We have a superb set-up at Lockwood Park, we are financially secure, and our director of rugby Mike Lumley, whose appointment during last season came after the rot had set in, has worked very, very hard over the close-season on bringing some exccellent new players to the club.

"Pre-season training has gone very well so far, and it's important we make a strong start to the season, because getting back to North I at the first attempt is a big objective for us."

Murphy revealed that the support of stalwart club sponsor Dave Allan, of top Huddersfield distribution firm The Pink Link, and outgoing chairman Ibberson had been crucial to his acceptance of the key post.

"Dave nattered at me for ages to become more involved, and eventually persuaded me to start sitting in on committee meetings," explained Murphy, whose most recent TV appearance was on Merseybeat.

"Alan, who has put in a huge amount of work during his chairmanship, has also been a great support, and I said that I would only consider following on if he became my vice-chairman."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2004
Words:476
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