Nowadays the player pen photos which appear in matchday programmes or official websites are usually the most bland and vapid of things.
All the players have their mug shot taken in exactly the same outfit (usually the current sponsor infested playing kit) with exactly the same background or scenery behind them.
We here on The East Terrace pine for the days when these pen photos had a bit of character about them and weren’t so polished by the team PR office. When we could see a bit of the man behind the rugby player instead of some cloned gym freak.
Take, for example, the exquisite portrait featured here of J.G.M.W. Murphy of the 1958 Irish team. Look in awe at his spiffing cravat. Feel wonder at that stylishly Bryl creamed hair. You would never see a player looking that elegant anymore.
It is clear that J.G.M.W Murphy was both a man and a player who liked to present himself well. Indeed it is no surprise to learn from his biography (taken here from the 1958 Ireland v Wales programme) that he is a man of military bearing.
Look at that stubble. What kind of a way is that for a threequarter to present himself when representing his national side? ‘Tis truly a disgrace.