Frank Murphy (Dublin): All Ireland SportsLife Hall Of Fame Inductee [ATHLETICS AWARD] Featured


In Irish and International Athletics Frank Murphy Was Greatly Appreciated By His Peers 

Dublin's celebrated Irish middle distance runner who competed for Ireland in two Olympics.

In 1968 at the Mexico Olympics in the 1,500m and in 1972 at the ill fated Munich Olympics in 800 and 1,500m competitions. Frank became national 1500m Irish champion in 1969; his formidable record over the classic mile and metric mile distances made him an Irish middle distance running legend.

Frank Murphy was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, on the 45th anniversary of his greatest International success winning the silver medal in the 1500m Final at the 1969 European Athletics Championships in Athens in a time of 3.39.51.This was a new Irish Record. Success continued on the International stage when he claimed another silver medal in the 1970 European Indoor Athletics Championships in Vienna, over 1500m distance in a time of 3.49.0.

Amongst his achievements rank  his mile personal best of 3.58.6 in 1968 becoming Ireland’s fourth fastest ever at the time. Murphy won back to back National Mile Titles in 1966 and 1967. In further progressing his legendary status Frank Murphy was one of only five Irish athletes to have ever run under 1.48 (800m), 3.40 (1500m) and 14.00 (5,000m).

On the home athletics front Frank Murphy remained loyal to his childhood club, Clonliffe Harriers, and competed in cross country and track and field major championships all over Ireland. The famed Morton mile event is also a stand out achievement, and in the first ever staging of this prestigious event, Frank ran in second place to Kip Keino, the legendary Kenyan runner at a time of 3.59.3.

A further major recognition in 1968 witnessed the Dublin athlete recording his fastest ever time of 3.58.6 to become the 4th fastest ever Irish runner to make this mark. Despite all the international successes, Murphy always remained loyal to his roots competing for his club Clonliffe Harriers at national cross country and track and field championships. Murphy won back to back National Mile Titles in 1966 and 1967. Frank was also one of only five Irish athletes to have ever run under 1.48 (800m), 3.40 (1500m) and 14.00 (5,000m). 

Murphy’s rise to athletics prominence came in 1963 when he won bronze in the Irish National Junior Cross Country Championships. He also achieved multiple Irish Schools Champions titles. His first senior cap came in the summer of 1966 in an International match against England and Wales. A historic journey to America and Villanova University on a scholarship gave rise to Frank winning the prestigious NCAA Indoor Title over 880yards in 1969. Several other major highlights of his university career included numerous successes with the college team at the world famous Penn Relays.

In the early 1980’s the Irish athlete ventured to Cork city and purchased a well known hostelry close to Cork Opera House, but his tenure was of short term. Frank was an international athlete who ran against many world champions and his peers considered the Drumcondra, Dublin born, runner as a world class athlete.

Born on the 21st May 1947 at Drumcondra, on Dublin’s northside city suburbs, Frank Murphy died at 69 years old on the 5th January 2017 at a residential Dublin nursing home. May he rest in peace.


Derry JF Doody


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