It is with much regret that Leeds Rhinos have learnt of the passing of former Head Coach Graham Murray in Australia.
Murray, 58, suffered a heart attack earlier this year but had been on the road to recovery before suffering another heart attack.
He joined the Rhinos in 1998 from Hunter Mariners, having started his coaching career at Illawarra Steelers, having played as a half back with Parramatta and Souths. He set about transforming the Rhinos immediately, creating a side that feared no one and never took a backward step. Leeds reached the inaugural Grand Final in 1998 eventually losing out to Wigan however the following year Murray had his finest hour when Leeds defeated London at Wembley to win the Challenge Cup Final. Murray left the Rhinos at the end of the season and continued his successful coaching career with Sydney Roosters, North Queensland Cowboys and New South Wales.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington commented, "It is devastating news and so sad to have lost Graham, who will be fondly remembered by all our fans, players and staff who knew him from his time with us.
"He was very popular and so professional in everything he did. He was an outstanding coach and mentor and he cared about all aspects of Rugby League. The game has lost a great servant and personality and our thoughts are with Amanda and Cara."
Former Leeds Rhinos star Barrie McDermott commented, "Graham Murray had a huge influence on Leeds Rhinos in the late 90's but his legacy is everywhere. So many of the players he influenced are still here and contributing to the philosophy he cultivated. 'Always be a man of your word' was his best piece of advice. Thank you from the past and future Rhinos and especially thanks for '99 one of the highest points of my career."
Leeds Rhinos will wear black arm bands as a mark of respect for their former coach and will be requesting a minutes silence before kick off when they face London Broncos this Thursday at the Twickenham Stoop, a fitting opponent to remember Muzza.
Make sure this weekend that you tweet us your Silver Shirt selfie to help raise awareness of the great work done by Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice as the Rhinos run out in their silver Magic Weekend kit against Wigan on Saturday evening.
Donations from Leeds Rhinos directors, coaches, staff, players and supporters has raised over £10,000 for the Danny Jones fund to help support the family of the former Keighley player who tragically died on 3rd May.
Paul Aiton will be hoping to celebrate his 30th birthday with a win at the Magic Weekend and hopes that the Rhinos can count on some local support with a group of Papua New Guineans playing at Newcastle Thunder under Stanley Gene.
Rhinos centre Joel Moon will be hoping it is a case of third time lucky when the Rhinos take on Wigan at St James Park having been part of the losing side in his previous two Magic Weekend appearances for Leeds.