The voice and face of Australian football may have passed away but the legacy of Les Murray AM will always live on at Illawarra Sports High School.
Murray’s former Berkeley school held a special ceremony on Friday to pay tribute to the legendary football broadcaster who died on Monday after a period of illness.
The school also took the opportunity to officially announce the Les Murray Cup would be awarded each year to ‘’celebrate his life and keep his legacy alive at our school’’.
School principal Raechel McCarthy said ISHS had lots of role models, but none better than the late Les Murray.
‘’At Illawarra Sports we always talk about education comes first, so it is really good for us to have role models that actually promote that. Les was a sports journalist whose passion and commitment to football and his community was second to none,’’ she said.
‘’The fact he came from a refugee background and from very humble beginnings but went on to achieve such great things in his life only makes him even a better role model for our students.’’
He [Les Murray] was a hard working Berkeley High boy who came from nothing but went on to change Australia for the better.Lilian Spiroski
Student and football lover Liliana Spiroski said she held immense respect for the Hungarian-born Murray, whose family moved to Australia in 1957.
Murray’s first home in Wollongong was a small one-bedroom house he shared with his parents and two brothers.
‘’But Les never complained and stated that ‘’as a refugee who came here with nothing, I am very grateful to this country for the opportunities I have had,’’ Liliana said.
‘’He also described our school to be the most multicultural school in all of Australia. Being an individual who fought for people seeking asylum and being the face of football, I myself hold immense respect for Les.
‘’Les Murray should be a role model to all of us. He was a hard working Berkeley High boy who came from nothing but went on to change Australia for the better.
‘’Les Murray we commemorate you and your legacy will last forever.’’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there would be a State Funeral for Murray.
‘’Les was an inspiration to many communities across our multicultural society,’’ she said.