He came very close to winning a third All-Ireland medal last September, starting both the drawn All-Ireland final against Clare and the subsequent replay defeat. He scored a point in the first game, which Cork were within seconds of winning until Domhnall O'Donovan equalised for Clare with the last puck of the game.
Brian has been a leading player with the club and was hugely influential in the club's rise through the ranks in Cork, culminating in a win in the County Intermediate Championship in 2003 and reaching the County Senior Final in 2008 only to be pipped by Sarsfields.
"While we are disappointed to lose Brian, we wish him well in his retirement", said manager, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, commenting on the news, "He was a hugely influential player and I would like to thank him for all his efforts".
Murphy was one of best in business, says Crowley
By Michael Moynihan
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Cork hurling selector Johnny Crowley paid a glowing tribute to retired defender Brian Murphy last night, describing the Bride Rovers man as "one of the best in the business."
Murphy (31) told the Cork hurling management on Tuesday evening he would not be available for the 2014 season, and Crowley said: "We were hoping he’d come back for this year, but that’s the way it goes.
"His experience was great for the whole team last year, the other players looked up to him for what he’d done over the previous ten years or so with Cork.
"Having a player in the dressing-room who’d won All-Irelands on the field of play was very important to us because our team was quite inexperienced in terms of the latter stages of the All-Ireland.
"In his own quiet way Brian would help the younger lads, he’d have a word with them about what to expect and so on, but we just have to get on with it now."
Crowley pointed out Murphy had to overcome a shoulder injury that sidelined him for much of last summer before making a comeback for the All-Ireland final and replay against Clare.
"That’s a measure of the man, that he was able to play extremely well despite that injury ruining his summer.
"We asked him to do a particular job and when he puts his mind to something he’s very determined — we were delighted with the job he did for us, even though it was slightly different to what he’d been doing all year.
"But that was Brian, he’d do anything for the team."
Crowley pointed out Murphy had marked some of the top forwards in the game during his career: "He was a brilliant man-marker, a brilliant defender — very committed, he looked after himself well and was a credit to his family and to his club.
"Over the years he was one of the best in the business in terms of man-marking in particular and he picked up the best of them, the likes of Eoin Kelly and John Mullane. You’d have gone a long way to get better than Brian."
The departure of the 2004 Young Hurler of the Year opens the door for another player, however. "It means someone else can put down a marker for a starting place," said Crowley.
"We’ll have to see how the panel goes and how lads do in the next few games when it comes to his replacement."
The Bride Rovers man won All-Ireland senior medals with Cork in 2004 and 2005 and his departure, along with that of Tom Kenny before this season began, means Cork now have no player on their panel who has an All-Ireland senior hurling medal won on the field of play.
"While we are disappointed to lose Brian, we wish him well in his retirement", said manager, Jimmy Barry-Murphy. "He was a hugely influential player and I would like to thank him for all his efforts".
Former teammate Diarmuid O’Sullivan yesterday tweeted a glowing tribute to his former defensive colleague: "Best wishes to the silent assassin brian murphy on his intercounty retirement. Corner- forwards will sleep easy tonight."
This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, March 13, 2014
Footnote: Brian came out of retirement to play v Waterford in the Munster SHC on June 7th 2015