Murdoch — The All Black Who Never Returned

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The story of Keith Murdoch, who passed away earlier this year, is the great unsolved mystery of world rugby. The All Black who was sent home from the tour of the British Isles in 1972 and who exiled himself to the vastness of the Australian outback remains a banner headline in rugby memories. It does so despite the passing of the years.

The basics of the story are well known: the strength of the man who scored the All Blacks’ only try against Wales, then the celebrations that night that went so horribly wrong. Murdoch only appeared publicly a few times in all those years since the tour, but never said much and nothing at all of the events of that night, or how he felt then and later.

But now, the story can be told more fully than before through anecdotes and memories of teammates and colleagues and through the damning words of those who condemned him to his life on the run.

Written by Ron Palenski

Publication date: 9 August 2018
ISBN: 978-1-988516-12-7
Category: Sports
NZ RRP: $39.99
Format: PB, 234 x 150mm (portrait), 224pp, including 50 illustrations

Listen to Ron Palenski talking to Radio NZ's Nine to Noon show about the book:

Click here to read an extract from the book on