Former All Black team mates signed a note of condolence which was presented at Keith Murdoch's funeral in a remote West Australian town over the weekend.

The 74-year-old Murdoch, infamously sent home from the 1972/72 northern hemisphere tour, was buried in Carnarvon, a coastal town 900km north of Perth.

Former All Black and or provincial team mates Ian Kirkpatrick — captain of the 1972/73 side — Jeff Matheson, Alex Wyllie, Grahame Thorne and Duncan Robertson sent the note which was presented at the funeral, the Otago Daily Times reported.

Otago prop Murdoch played three tests. He was sent home after a Cardiff hotel fight following the victory against Wales in which he scored a try.


Murdoch's sister spoke at the funeral service, and the former players wanted to show that the notorioous prop had remained in their thoughts over the years.

Murdoch lived in self-imposed exile in Australia, rarely returning to New Zealand. But former All Black team mates are among those who believe he was poorly treated.

The mystique around Murdoch continued in death as in life: while his passing was reported at Easter the ODT said it is believed he died a month earlier.

Kirkpatrick (Poverty Bay/Canterbury), Wyllie (Canterbury), Matheson (Otago) and Thorne (Auckland) were in All Black touring sides which included Murdoch. Robertson, whose All Black career began in 1974, was a fellow Otago player.

To get the day's top sports stories in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here