Pride forward Murphy's coming back to where it began
LEAGUE: He was born in Bundaberg, developed into a quality rugby league player in Toowoomba and made his mark on the Intrust Super Cup in Cairns, but you can find Northern Pride prop David Murphy's roots in Hervey Bay.
It was at Stafford Park that now 22-year-old Murphy earned his rugby league chops as a young Seagull.
A Pialba State School then Fraser Coast Anglican College student whose parents owned the Pialba Motor Inn, Murphy's childhood home at Takura was well-known for the former paddock which was transformed into a footy field.
"Everybody saw it when they drove past, we loved it" Murphy, who lived in the region for six years, said.
It is the first time Murphy has played at Stafford Park since his time as youngster.
"I've always looked forward to it," Murphy said. "There was talk of a charity game a few years back but it never really worked out. I haven't seen any of my old coaches but there's been a few messages with some people I'll be keen to see."
Murphy has experienced the ultimate joys and some crushing lows as a footballer.
He was a Queensland Residents representative and the Pride's Player of the Year in 2016, and after two impressive years in Cairns had signed for Easts with the view to move on to the Melbourne Storm.
"As soon as I got to Melbourne I had surgery, and it never worked out," he said.
That foot injury curtailed his NRL dream and within a year he was back to the Pride.
"There is still that aspiration to play in the NRL and I train as hard as I always have, but I now have the ability to put that to the side and focus on just playing the game," he said.
"My best year, I wasn't caught up in that and I just played footy. Sometimes I'd put more pressure on myself to perform. Now I just want to play footy."