This week is the 51st anniversary of Frank Murphy’s European Indoor Athletics Championships 1500 silver on 15 March 1970 in Vienna. That in fact was the first European Indoor Athletics Championships replacing the European Indoor Games which had commenced four years previously. In Vienna Frank ran 3.49.0 taking silver a mere two tenths behind Henryk Szordkowski (POL) 3.48.8.
The legendary Clonliffe Harrier had gone to those Championships having the previous outdoor season captured silver at the European Championships in Athens beaten by 1/10 of a second by Britain’s John Whetton as Frank ran an Irish national record of 3.39.51. Frank was a two-time Olympian competing in 1968 in Mexico in the 1500 and in Munich in 1972 in both the 800 and 1500, making the semi-final in 800. Frank also has the distinction of being the first Clonliffe Harrier to break the four-minute barrier in the mile on 1 June 1968 when he ran 3.58.6 to become only the fourth Irishman to go sub- four. A multi-times national champion Frank was inducted into the Athletics Ireland Hall of Fame in 2014 less than three before his untimely death at aged 69 years in January 2017.