The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are adding a 15th name to their Ring of Honour at IG Field.
And it will be former star receiver James Murphy who will be joining Chris Walby, Kenny Ploen, Gerry James, Milt Stegall, Dieter Brock, Leo Lewis, Bud Grant, Herb Gray, Doug Brown, Jack Jacobs, Fritz Hanson, Bob Cameron, Joe Poplawski, and Bob Irving in being recognized for contributions made to the Winnipeg Football Club.
A three-time Grey Cup Champion (1984, 1988, 1990) and the Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Player in 1986, Murphy was inducted into the Winnipeg Football Club and CFL Hall of Fames in 1995 and 2000, respectively.
The 63-year-old Floridian has made Winnipeg his home since retiring from the Blue Bombers following the 1990 season and told 680 CJOB’s Greg Mackling he missed the original call from the team regarding his induction.
“When I checked my messages and it was, ‘Hey Murph, it’s Bob Irving — give me a call,'” recalled Murphy when asked about how he found out going into the Ring Of Honour. “I thought, ‘Oh boy, Bob Irving’s phoning me, what can it be?'”
Murphy admitted, in the back of his mind, he was thinking there might be a special reason for the long-time Blue Bombers broadcaster to be reaching out. “Then I’m thinking, no, it’s probably just, ‘Want to go play golf?’ or something.”
So when Murphy returned the call, he found out from Knuckles that the media had selected him to be the 2023 inductee into the Blue Bomber Ring of Honour. “It was just one of those moments where I was just sort of lost for words,” said Murphy, who was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of Winnipeg’s 1988 Grey Cup upset 22-21 win over BC at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. “It was just great news to receive and from that point on I’ve been walking around on a cloud.”
The five foot 10 inch, 150-pound wide receiver out of Utah State was the Minnesota Vikings 10th round pick in the 1981 NFL Draft and began his career with Winnipeg in 1982. Over the course of his nine seasons in Blue and Gold, Murphy totalled 573 receptions for 9,036 yards and 61 touchdowns.
Murphy had six, 1,000-yard receiving campaigns and to this day holds the Blue Bomber single-season mark of 116 catches in 1986. And Murphy had no problem remembering some of the things that were going through his mind during that phone call with Knuckles.
“The first thing I thought of was all the coaches, all the players that I played with. My Mom, my Dad — all the people that encouraged me. Something like this, and certainly not me, could ever reach this height without a lot of good people.”
James Murphy will be officially inducted into the Ring of Honour when the Blue Bombers host Saskatchewan before a sellout crowd in the Banjo Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 9, at IG Field.
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