St Helens great Alex Murphy celebrates 80th birthday

Jubillant St Helens players carry their skipper Alex Murphy on their shoulders after they had won the Rugby League Challenge Cup at Wembley stadium in 1966.
Jubillant St Helens players carry their skipper Alex Murphy on their shoulders after they had won the Rugby League Challenge Cup at Wembley stadium in 1966.

One of the greatest Rugby League players in living memory celebrates his 80th birthday today (Easter Monday).


Alex Murphy reached legendary status during his time at St Helens - his home town club - Leigh and Warrington and also helped all three
to success at Wembley, both on and off the field.

Alex at Wembley as a coach

Alex at Wembley as a coach

Old pal Kevin Ashcroft played alongside him in the Leigh side that caused one of the greatest upsets in Rugby League history when they beat Leeds 24-7 in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in May 1971.

Kevin told the Leigh Centurions web site that Murphy was the most competitive men he'd ever met in his life.

When asked to sum up AJM, Ashcroft said: "If he went out in the garden with you to light a firework, he'd have to light his first.

"We also used to play dominoes on the team bus going to away games. We were only playing for toffees but he played like his life depended on
it.''

Alex became the first player to captain three different teams to Challenge Cup victories, with St Helens, Leigh and Warrington

Alex became the first player to captain three different teams to Challenge Cup victories, with St Helens, Leigh and Warrington