Monday, July 31, 2017

Mystery prop Murdoch caught up in strange saga

There have been 1000 All Blacks but the most mysterious of them is a huge prop called Keith Murdoch, and now he is caught up in yet another strange saga in Australia.

In 1972 Murdoch caused a sensation when he was tossed out of the All Black squad then, on tour in Britain, he punched a security guard at Cardiff's Angel Hotel. He had just scored the winning try against the Welsh.

It was the first time anybody had ever been 'fired' rom the All Blacks and so deep was the shame, Murdoch did not return to New Zealand and instead disappeared into the Australian Outback.

Reporters tried to track the huge prop down, but he never spoke publicly.

Now Murdoch, 55, is wanted as a witness into the death of 20-year-old Aborigine Christopher Kumanjai Limerick, whose decomposed body was found at the bottom of an abandoned mine-shaft near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, last October.

The inquest has been adjourned while police try to track Murdoch down.

Murdoch made several fleeting visits to Dunedin to visit his family, but otherwise has lived and worked in Australia, mostly operating heavy machinery. Recently he has been living in Tennant Creek, where the inquest is being held. He was last seen a month ago in the Mataranka area, about 600 kilometres (372 miles) north of Tennant Creek, a police spokeswoman said.

The inquest was told Murdoch was one of the last people to see Limerick alive.

Young Otago prop Carl Hayman became the 1000th All Black in a New Zealand victory over Samoa.

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