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Photographs of Anthony Murphy
27 June 1944 - 5 June 2015

AWL Credits

Competition (1st)
Competition (1st)

Non-AWL Credits


Jerry Springer goes to Verona

Original idea and co-writer City Lit 2004. A TIE project exploring the relationships and responsibilities arising from the events in Romeo and Juliet. Presented and performed with students preparing for GCSE in English Literature. Further details on request.

Biographical Notes

Anthony Murphy was born in Dublin in 1944 and moved to London in 1968. Writing was his third career. Previously, he had been a community worker, social worker in Liverpool, Norwich and London. Following some serious health challenges in 2001, he retired from his second career and decided to start writing. He attended a wide range of part-time Creative Writing courses all over London.

2004 was a significant year: he started a one year drama/writing course at the City Lit (The Small Scale Touring Company) and found AWL. At City Lit, he created, devised and co-wrote a Theatre-in-Education piece, Jerry Springer Goes to Verona, which toured a number of secondary schools in London and Lincolnshire as part of the GCSE English Lit Programme. Anthony started atending AWL in October 2004 (thanks to John Petherbridge).

He was AWL Secretary from 2006-2008, then Chairman and Competition Co-ordinator from 2008-2009. In 2010, he decided to take a break from AWL to follow a two year course in Creative Writing/Advanced Creative Writing, which he finished in July 2012, with a much treasured Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing.

1962 to 1968

Anthony had a very brief dalliance with the professional theatre in Dublin as a Monk assisting in dressing the Pope in Brecht’s The Life of Galileo at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 1964.

After bouts of singing in pubs, clubs and convents, he finally made the leap and headed for London and took on the first of many public sector engagements, as a London bus conductor. Fame did not elude him for long, though. He is still remembered in Stamford Hill as the only London bus conductor to fall off his own bus whilst it was still in service!

1970 to 2001

Youth worker, community worker, community arts worker, residential social worker, child protection social worker, psychiatric social worker, community mental health worker. Trainer, management consultant in community mental health, Anthony spent most of his working life writing about people: desperate people, distressed people, courageous people. No credits but lots of critical responses:

“Mr. Murphy is a greasy bollock” (The singular somewhat is a bit perplexing);

“He’s a diamond geezer, dead straight, calls a spade a spade.” (And yes, this accolade was accorded by one of his many Afro-Caribbean clients);

“I have been very impressed with Mr Murphy and his reports” (Justice C in High Court after he had spent five hours giving evidence as an expert witness in a Child Protection case);

“Why don’t you fuck off back to the bogs where you came from?” (A disgruntled delinquent on his way to Youth custody on Anthony’s recommendation).

So who said theres no such thing as bad publicity!

2001 to 2015

Following triple by-pass and mitral-valve-replacement surgery in 2002, Anthony decided to take the “easy” path and start writing.

From 2003 onwards ’he attended classes in creative writing, playwriting, screenplay and community theatre at Morley College, Goldsmiths College and CityLit. In 2012 he received a much treasured Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing after taking a two year course.


David Hampshire:

Tony was an ebullient, generous and knowledgeable AWL chairman who championed writers and who was a talented writer himself. He had a social conscience which his writing often reflected in a humorous, quirky,off-beat way whilst being grounded in reality. Tony was personally encouraging and supportive of my writing, for which I’ll always be grateful. Rest in peace Tony. You’ll be missed.

Liz Felton:

Oh no, that’s such sad news. Tony will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. RIP Tony xxx

Robert Blackwood:

Tony was a genuinely wonderful human being. I will always know that my life was better because I had met him. I am just so very sorry I didn’t get to see him for one last time. That is a true sadness for me, as he was my mentor and my “Irish dad” with whom I drank and laughed, who always said you’ll make it, and always believed that my Irish accent could do with a little more, “but it was good enough”.

Penny Culliford:

Unbelievably sad. One of the kindest, sweetest, people I ever knew.

Crissy Mullen:

I am so sad to read this, Tony was a fantastic person and great to talk to about Dublin and the Irish Theatre scene, what a great man I shall miss him, may he rest in peace, God bless him.

Edmund Dehn:

A really really genuine man. Honest and kind in his views. Helpful. A laugh and a smile for everyone. And we shared a common love for the wonderful playwright Sean O’Casey. I’m shocked and sad. Ian Buckley:

How very sad! A really nice guy and a talented writer; I remember being impressed by a play he wrote incorporating his social work experience Skating on Thin Ice). Sympathies to his family and friends.

Viv Lake:

I felt particularly bereft after reading Stephanie’s email about Tony. Tony and Stephanie were the first people to welcome me and Peter when we first joined AWL back in 2006, and he was always so supportive and friendly. He was passionately supportive of AWL and what it stood for. Losing someone like Tony is akin to losing a family member, and he will be missed greatly by many AWL members for his warm Irish brogue and his cheerfulness. The only consolation is that he is now with his Margaret, and I’m sure that wherever he is he’ll be watching over us all at AWL in the future.

Peter Saracen:

Oh,that is tragic news and a real shock.I only chatted to him at the last meeting or the one before. He was one of the most generous spirits I have ever had the good fortune to know. I particularly remember the Sundays he organised at one time when the competition pieces were chosen at that room on the 4th floor in the corner.He always made them such fun and when necessary was a calm influence. And the gentle smile and wit in that soft Irish brogue. A real loss. I will miss him, particularly, when he will no longer pop in at AWL.

Catherine Potter:

Oh no! How very sad! Tony was such a kind, warm and friendly member of AWL who made me feel welcome and part of the gang from the moment I joined. I have fond memories of working with him, especially on A One Way Ticket to Palookaville. I will miss him. What a wonderful man. My heart goes out to his family. May he rest in peace xxx

Phil Gerrard

Oh no, am so so sorry to read this. My heart goes out to his nearest and dearest x

Clive Ward:

Always warm and generous. So glad I knew him.

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