James "Quick" Murphy was born in Deland, FL, attended Utah State and was the second-leading receiver in US college football in his senior year. Drafted by the NFL's Vikings, Murphy stopped in at Kansas City to return kicks for the Chiefs before he joined the Blue Bombers in the CFL in late 1982. By 1984 he was celebrating Winnipeg's first Grey Cup title in over two decades. Even though Murphy did not have a starring role in a Blue Bomber offence that included Willard Reaves and Tom Clements, he considers it his most memorable.
"1984 was probably the most precious and special to me because Winnipeg hadn't won in 22 years. To be able to play in the Grey Cup and win it and come home. The celebration on Portage and Main, City Hall, and at Winnipeg Arena. It was something that you'd never forget."
The 1986 season was the best of Murphy's stellar career. He set a Bomber club record for most yards in a season with 1,746. He was also recognized as the CFL's Most Outstanding Player, an honour only one other Bomber receiver has earned to date: CFL record-holder Milt Stegall, who went on to break Murphy's single season receiving yards mark, as well as his all-time receiving yards mark of 9,036.
During his eight-year Bomber career, Murphy won the Grey Cup three times and was named to an All-Star team 4 consecutive years. His other two Grey Cups would come in 1988, when he was named the Grey Cup MVP, and in 1990. Murphy did not get a chance to play in the 1990 contest because due to a career-ending injury in September of that season. He was the Bombers' leading receiver when he suffered a severe ankle fracture and remained with the team, on crutches, until they hoisted the Grey Cup.
Following his athletic career, Murphy chose to settle down in Winnipeg. He coached football and opened a fish market at The Forks. He ran Dockside 21 Seafood for about ten years, where he recalls Stegall would often visit his mentor during the season. Today, Murphy works with the Manitoba Home Builders Association. He is proud to say he now helps train young men and women in the construction industry to get involved in building houses.
Inducted into the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2000, James Murphy was named to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 75th Anniversary All-Time Greatest team as a wide receiver.
James Murphy is also a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame.