HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
|Date of Birth||18th August 1934|
Games: 260 – 257 East Perth; 1956, 58, 59
Honours: Sandover Medallist 1958; Daily News Footballer of the year 1960; East Perth Fairest and Best 1958; East Perth Leading Goalkicker 1954, 55, 64
While the Jack Sheedy-inspired revolution of football in the 1950’s was built around the way Graham Farmer used the handball, it was another key figure in those premiership teams who actually forced officials to change on of the rules of the game.
Kilmurray used the flick pass because he couldn’t master a normal handball with his non-preferred left hand, but after a couple of devastating seasons, the practice was outlawed.
It was an era where big men dominated, with Farmer, Jack Clarke (East Fremantle) and Brian Foley (West Perth) sharing Sandover Medals, but Kilmurray’s effectiveness over a decade had one season that produced a range of football highs.
He polled 20 votes to win the 1958 Sandover Medal in a season when Farmer didn’t feature in the top bracket of vote-getters and Kilmurray also claimed the club’s Fairest and Best trophy to cap off a season when he also won the second of his three premiership medallions.
However, the modest Kilmurray actually believes his best season was 1960, when he won the Footballer-of –the-Year award as judged by the now-defunct Daily News and was runner-up to Farmer in the Sandover, but 10 votes behind the champion ruckman.
Born in the outback township of Wiluna, one of five children and not knowing his father, Kilmurray went to Sister Kate’s with two siblings, while the other two went to a mission at Mogumber, north of Perth.
Along with Farmer and a third Royal in Jack Hunt, Kilmurray graduated to East Perth in 1953 and carrying the nickname of Square from his younger days, he became a half-forward goalkicker in the mould of latter-day ruck-rovers.
An ‘in-between” sized player, he was too small for a ruckman and too big for a rover, so he naturally fitted in a forward pocket or at half-forward in an era when the Royals had several big-name full-forwards. Kilmurray is quick to admit that football was good for him, helping establish him in the community, with the Sandover Medal win opening doors, especially in his many years as a truck driver with the State Government.