Keith Murdoch, rugby player – obituary

Keith Murdoch, right, training with the All Blacks at Porthcawl in 1972 Credit: Michael Brennan/Evening News/REX/Shutterstock

Keith Murdoch, who has died aged 74, was the only All Black to have been sent home in disgrace from an overseas tour.

In 1972 Murdoch punched a security guard during a brawl in a Cardiff hotel bar and was booted off the team. He never recovered from this humiliation, giving up rugby and spending the remaining 46 years of his life as a recluse.

He avoided the media and his old friends, living a nomadic existence in the Outback and other remote parts of Australia and later New Zealand.

Murdoch on the All Blacks tour, 1972 Credit: Colin Elsey/Colorsport

There were only a handful of recorded public sightings of him in those decades. In the late-1970s Terry Maclean, New Zealand’s leading rugby writer, tracked him down to an oil-drilling site outside Perth. A spanner-wielding…

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