She may have represented the Westfield Matildas on 67 occasions but retired Australian football royalty Julie Murray is set to embark on a different match all together participating in the Sports Star Sleep-Out organised by the Chappell Foundation to raise funds for the homeless youth – #TCFSleepout
Held tonight (Monday 3rd of August), Murray will be joined by 30 former and current sports stars such as Greg Chappell Benny Elias, Stuart MacGill, Louise Sauvage, Ziggy Gordon, Beki Smith to name a few at the SCG to participate in the sleep out where people can donate all week.
There was no hesitation in Murray’s mind that once the former Matilda star found out about this amazing initiative, the 50-year-old knew she wanted to be part of it.
“I receive regular email correspondence from the AOC via the Olympian Services on everything from trivia nights to important social issues and fundraisers such as the Sports Star Sleepout.
“The cause resonated with me given I have two children of my own and felt it very important to be a part of an awareness campaign that put the majority of funds raised directly to those that need it, and they are the ones on the front line supporting these young people day in day out.”
The Football community is known for sticking together especially in the tough times but in this case, Murray is hoping that the sport can get behind this cause in raising funds for the homeless youth.
“Football, without question, has the largest platform (and international presence) to raise awareness of this and many other societal issues.
“It is a social imperative that that we not only talk about the numerous and varying disparities within society but to, more importantly, behave in a way that reflects our positions, in particular that everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive in the world.
“Football has always been a driver of positive change and this is another very important issue to that needs to be tackled.
“I am hoping the community gets behind this.”
The game has come a long way ever since the former Matildas skipper hung the boots up after an illustrious and successful 13-year international career.
With the women’s game growing in strength year upon year, Murray was delighted with how the sport has progressed for the better.
“The game has come a long way since the first time I pulled on the green and gold jersey.
“It has become far more professional, there is greater opportunity for female footballers to obtain contracts playing oversees which has had a direct link to the performances you see today.
“Better performances and good results bring about changes that are needed to ensure the games continued success.”
One such event that is sure to further boost the female game and image in Australia is of course the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Set to be co-hosted with New Zealand, Murray was buzzing with excitement when the memorable decision was announced.
“The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup announcement that Australia and New Zealand will host still feels surreal however what a brilliant and exciting time for football in this country!
“I guess this speaks to the question above where all the long hard work of previous players, staff and administrators have culminated in the international footballing body FIFA, recognising that we have come leaps and bounds since our first Australian game.”
A pioneering women’s professional footballer, Murray played in the first ‘Pilot World Cup’ in 1988 in China at age 17 and later went on to captain the Matildas in the 1995 and 1999 World Cups.
Julie was one of the first two Australians contracted to play professionally, in Denmark for Fortuna Ladies Football Club in 1990.
Julie was a member of the Australian Team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and was drafted the following year to the Bay Area CyberRays for the inaugural US professional women’s soccer league. Julie took MVP honours as the CyberRays won the first Championship.
Today Julie works for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and remains passionate about the welfare of athletes, coaches and their support teams during and post- competition.