Philip Brophy had been included in the players’ profiles for the season 2015-16, as he had decided, to the delight of coaches and membership, to resume playing with the senior team, however, a recent injury proved more serious than it had appeared and he has been forced to retire permanently. The few lines here could never do justice to someone so full of ability, courage, loyalty, spirit and commitment. He is a superb clubman, a team man, a leader, a pathfinder and a wonderful person.
Philip was born in Dublin 1984. He went to school at St Mary’s College and there excelled in all respects. He played all sports including cricket. While there, he made many friends, in particular, Stephen Grissing and Vincent Hammond. The three amigos remain inseparable and continue with their high spirited, but good-natured, pranks when out together. His family is most important to Philip and both his dad, Eugene and mum Anna, have been major influences on his life and both have encouraged, helped and supported him in his sporting and business endeavours. Both have also supported St Marys and attend most matches even when Philip is not involved.
Although talented in many areas, and endowed with a finesinging voice (he once won an Elvis impression competitionand a Talent Competition), it was rugby that was his big love. While at St Mary’s College he came under the appreciated rugby influence of Fr Flavin, Ray Sloan and later, former Lion, Rodney O’Donnell, whose coaching he rated highly. Heplayed in the Leinster School’s Cup Final in 2002-03alongside another close friend Paul (Nasher) Nash. He had the unusual ability to be able to play in almost any position. Second row may not have quite suited him. At scrumhalf, outhalf, centre, wing or fullback he played with élan.
Like his elder brother and close friend Brian, also a talentedrugby player, he joined St Mary’s College RFC and wasscrumhalf on the Marys U 20s team that won the pennant trophy 2003-04. That same season he won a J6 and J2 cup medal. Not a bad haul for a 19 year old lad. He soon climbed to senior rank and excelled at inside centre, fullback and outhalf, and he won a Leinster Senior Cup medal the 2005; he also won one in 2010 and 2013. He made a major contribution to the 2010-11 J1 treble winning team. Of course he was a vital part of the great AIL winning team of 2012 and was a club international player. He retired from senior rugby last season to complete his studies and also to coach the senior team, as backs and defence coach, but later came back to play a major role in the capture of the Moran (J3) cup.
Philip (Marvelman) Brophy was Club Captain for the season 2008-09, when, but for dubious fortune, another AIL title would have been won. During that year he formed a strong bond of friendship with the year’s president Eoin Quinn, and he and Quinner retain that closeness. That season included a preseason tour to Argeles in the South of France and both had a wonderful time, yet also put in important preseason training and planning. The tour included quiz night and Philip compiled a brilliant quiz himself and it turned into a memorable evening. His Captain’s speech during the club dinner was ecstatically received. It was full of deep and sincere content but also humour and fun. He received a lasting standing ovation.
As a player, he was endowed with a full array of natural skills and worked hard to enhance them. He was fearless in defence, and adventurous and highly effective in attack. He worked tirelessly at his training and development and still found time to help and encourage his teammates and all club members, playing at lower levels. He is widely admired and universally liked. Many of the great Marys’ players of the past decade aver to Philip being the best player with whom they had ever played. He says that one of his greatest highlights was being selected at 12 outside Johno Sexton, at outhalf, on a putative St Marys’ dream team in the recent “The Great Match” a club competition to select St Mary’s College RFC best ever players’ team.
As mementos he has an impressive collection of medals too.
Academically and in business Philip has excelled too and has a growing successful business career. He, gained a degree in Chemistry from UCD and went on to complete his Masters in Management at the UCD Smurfit School, where he is now completing a diploma in Business and Executive Coaching. He has taken up a new exciting executive appointment and he hopes when things stabilise to return to coaching and other club activities.
Philip is most generous in all respects and is a very sociable young man. He is much sought after by his peers. He is the epitome of a great clubman and will no doubt give very much more in many ways to his club in the future. Thank you Philip.