I never met Blair Murray during his time in our community.
That is my loss. After talking to several people who knew the man, that loss is even greater
What he did as a coach and teacher at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School is impressive but more so is how they told the stories about Blair.
It seemed he made his mark on so many lives in the time he was on this earth and when people relate stories about him their eyes light up, they speak a little quicker and can’t stop smiling as they tell of what Blair meant to them.
One of his former bantam players, Riley Collins told me how much of an inspiration Blair Murray was for him.
“He focused more on us as a football team and a family,” he said. “He devoted so much time to making us better players and people. He will never be forgotten.”
Other players like Tim Hayward and Cody Hawkes spoke of how Blair would open his doors to any of his players who had to make the trip to Calgary to attend a camp.
If you were headed to his city at the time, you had a place to stay – no questions asked.
He was around to take players to practice if a parent couldn’t and through his work as the man in charge of work experience at Thurber, he made sure these kids got a little something to help them figure out what they might be interested in when school was over.
It has been almost a year since Blair Murray left his family, players and students far too soon but his actions are still fresh in the minds of these young men and women.
If you are curious as to how much Blair Murray was respected, the entire school was shut down for his funeral and students were bussed down to attend the ceremony.
That action alone speaks volumes.
This Saturday at Montana’s Restaurant in Red Deer, a favourite of Blair Murray’s, a fund raiser will take place to raise money for the Blair Murray Foundation.
In the spirit of the man, the money will go to scholarships directed towards those who might be considered the underdog in society.
Those are exactly the people Blair Murray fought the hardest for according to the people who knew him.
If you can make it down to eat some food, listen to some stories and bid on a silent auction item, you will have done a great service to a man who from all accounts deserves that respect.
Even if you didn’t know him.