Legends And Commentators

The games greats, and the people who call our game. This is what they have had to say!

They are some of the greats of the game and they don’t mind having their say.

“If this game ever takes over from rugby league you can f— me in Pitt St.” What League legend Rex Mossop said to Johnny Warren during a break in an England v Australia soccer match in the 1980s.

“Clive Churchill was known as the little master, and he was little, just 5-foot-7 tall; how did a small man like that impose himself on the game in such a dominating fashion?”
“Well in those days for a man his size and the amount of tackling that he had to do when he was running with the ball, it was a different type of game. There was 13 against 13, no person was allowed to leave the field, and if you came off the field in those days, you got the expression what they used to call a dog: you ran away from fear and danger, and you dare not leave the football field unless you were carried off the football field. But Churchill always showed great times when he was obviously injured very seriously and refused to go off the field. And I remember one of the first games I played against Churchill was when he was on the end of his career, and he was playing five-eighth.” John Rapper talks to Gerald Booth about The Little Master, Clive Churchill.

“And I remember one of the first games I played against Churchill was when he was on the end of his career, and he was playing five-eighth.”
“For South Sydney.”
“For South Sydney of course, and Dickie Pool, the coach then said, ‘Now son,’ he said, ‘you’re playing against a good player here today. It’s Clive Churchill,’ he said, ‘don’t underestimate him because he’s a fullback’, he said, ‘because he’s capable of just about handling every position.’ And as cocky as I was in those days, I said, ‘Dick, don’t worry, you won’t have any trouble with him.’ As play went on, I got a bit cockier than what I should normally do, being 16 years of age I went up and I hit Churchill and I said, (I mean with a legal tackle of course) and I said, ‘How do you like that one?’ He said, ‘That’s good son,’ he said, ‘that’s beaut.’ Then a couple of moments later I hit him with another crash tackle and knocked him to the ground, and I said, ‘Now how was that one?’ And he said, ‘That was a lot better, by the way’, you know, he just sort of sat there and after we played the ball and before he got up he said that word, he said, ‘You know, it’s better than the last one.’ And the next time I hit him he said, ‘That was your best one, son.’ So I thought, oh well I must be getting over the old fellow. He said, ‘But next time you’d better hit me with the ball. Have a look up the other end of the field.’ Well what Clive had done he’d sucked me in, the winger come from the blind side, he give him the ball, Ian Moir it was in those days, give him the ball and Moir was putting the ball down between the posts as I was talking to Churchill. And I always admired Churchill immensely from that day, more than what I admired him before. And it was a great pleasure, having tackled Clive Churchill, it was a great pleasure getting a lesson from him.”John Raper gives his account of his first match against
the Great Clive Churchill.

“State of Origin will never work” Ray Price was right on the money!

“Waiting for Cronulla to win the Premiership is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt.” Jack Gibson with another classic.

“In football, if you are standing still, you’re going backwards fast’ Not a truer word has ever been spoken. Who else but the great Jack Gibson.

“I’m 49, I’ve had a brain haemorrhage and a triple bypass and I could still go out and play a reasonable game of rugby union. But I wouldn’t last 30 seconds in rugby league.” Graham Lowe back in 1995.

“It’s the first time I’ve been cold for seven years. I was never cold playing Rugby League.” Jonathan Davies on his return to Rugby Union.

“They’re in this competition up to their ear balls.” Laurie Daley on 2GB Radio talking about the St George/Illawarra Dragons chances in the 2004 NRL season.

“I’m sick of having male genitals rammed down my throat” Rex Mossop on the nude beach near Manly and people walking to and from their cars with nothing on.

“Rugby League is a simple game played by simple people. Rugby union is a complex game played by wankers.” Former Australian captain Laurie Daley.

“A lot of people don’t like John Hopoate…. But I’m one of his lovers…” Max Krilich

“I’m sure the club asked Wayne who was to blame for the performance this year and he wouldn’t have looked at himself. But I know who’s been there the longest.”Wally Lewis very cutting as he comments of the sacking of a number of Brisbane Broncos coaching staff after the 2005 season. Lewis was stripped of the Broncos captaincy by Bennett in 1990.

“I’m filthy on Jamie Lyon. Jamie Lyon dudded Parramatta like you wouldn’t believe … No, I don’t want him in the Test side and I don’t want him back in the NRL.” Peter Sterling on Jamie Lyon in late 2006.

“Fair dinkum, if Manly was playing Iraq in the grand final, I would be finding a shop that sold Iraqi flags.” Penrith legend Greg Alexander on Sydney Radio echoing the thoughts of most of Sydney in regards to calls that the city should support the Manly Sea Eagles in the 2007 NRL Grand Final.

“Well, I chased him all around the paddock for years and couldn’t get a hand on him, and that was when fullbacks weren’t supposed to run.” Roosters great Ferris Ashton when asked by Greg Alexander how elusive a running fullback the great Clive Churchill was compared to Matthew Bowen.

“England will win the World Cup, I am convinced our time is now and we have the team to do it, It may look as if I am sticking my neck out but I honestly believe we are finally on a par with the Aussies and we have the team to do it. It is the best chance we have had for years to put one over them.” Former Great Britain coach Maurice Bamford just has no idea what he is talking about.

“Rob Burrow has the ability to run the Aussies ragged, and I think he will. The Aussies have been saying Burrow isn’t big enough, but just watch him deliver. He’ll have the last laugh because Australia are scared stiff of any player with genuine pace and Burrow can be electric. They were frightened to death of Martin Offiah because he had the ability to destroy the opposition with his pace. Burrow can do the same, he can be like lightning. Rob has tended at international level to stand back and let others do it but when he plays for Leeds he runs the show and is in the thick of the action. I’m sure Tony will have told him to play like he plays at club level.”Bamford again, this time making the completely stupid link between Rob Burrow and Martin Offiah, who never beat Australia either.

“I don’t get any satisfaction out of saying that because nobody wants us to win the World Cup more than I do, but not telling the truth isn’t going to fool anyone. I want people to wake up. I want people to realise that our competition is not as good as some people are hyping it up to be and the players aren’t as good as they believe they are. It’s all right puffing your chest out when you’ve beaten the NRL champions out of season but on Sunday night, in a full international, is when you find out the truth. And what a painful truth it was.” Gary Schofield rips into England and English supporters after Australia humiliated them by a scoreline of 52-4.

”Don’t put your head in your hands and disrespect the winners. Show enough character to stand up and acknowledge the Storm have won and are the better team. My dad always used to say, ‘You’ve got to learn how to lose – you don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to learn to do it so you’ll end up being a good winner’.” Former Bulldogs great peter Mortimer on the advice he gave to his son Daniel who took part in the 2009 Grand Final with the Parramatta Eels against the Melbourne Storm.

“Our game is going backwards and something needs to be done, especially when it comes to international rugby. We were hammered in the World Cup last summer and this seems to have set us back. There is no-one more patriotic than myself but I really do fear for us against Australia this weekend. They’re just so quick in comparison. People say we in our game do everything the Aussies do, but they have now become much faster and we are so much slower.” Former Warrington coach Tony Barrow on the state of English Rugby League in 2009. At least one Pom talks a bit of sense.

“All I can say is that it is a Pommy award and, really, who gives a shit what they think. I mean, I am not trying to have a go at them but really, who cares? The blokes voting on it clearly don’t know what they are talking about.” Parramatta Eels legend Ray Price talking about the Golden Boot award after Jarryd Hayne was not even nominated for it after winning the 2009 Dally M Medal and RLIF Player of the year awards.

“The turning point for me happened about three or four weeks ago. I was sitting at home when my wife [Trish] walked in, she sat next to me on the lounge and nudged me and said, ‘Matt, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed or not but myself and the kids are getting on with the rest of our lives. Now, for our sake, we need you to do the same.”’ Matthew Johns commenting on his future while also dealing with his past in digressions.

“I’m struggling to come up with a better name on the spot, but I’m sure I can come up with a better one than Colin Love. ‘I’ve got nothing personal against Colin, I think he’s a terrific bloke. But if we’re going to have an independent commission, fuck me dead, how can you have Colin Love as the chairman? You can quote me on that. Let’s be serious. Really, there wouldn’t be a league fan that would cop that.” Penrith Legend Greg Alexander comes out with a beauty! Who knew Brandy could fire up like that!

”Michael Jordan and I are both shiny, black and reasonable-looking customers,” Wendel Sailor at a charity basketball event. I love Sailors humour!

They can be the voice of the game and what they say is instantly beamed to hundreds of thousands of people. That probably why we remember them so well.

“Its long enough, its high enough, and its good!” The greatest statesman the game has ever had, Frank Hyde.

“He moves with the ellegence of a cow on a bicycle” Frank Hyde talking about Noel Kelly.

“He gave him a little stiffy” Rex Mossop, calling a high shot in the 1975 Grand Final between Easts and Saints.

“Mate, that was bigger than Hitler’s gas bill” The reply from a replacement sideline radio commentator after an Origin match when asked how he had found the experience. The station quickly cut his microphone and apologised.

“That’s not a try, that’s a Miracle!” Ray Warrens famous call of the Mark Coyne miracle try in the first State Of Origin match in 1994. I’m still devastated.

“I think every team wishes they had a Willie as big as this one!” Ray Warren during a Bulldogs game in 2001.

“This is spanner weather – it really tightens the nuts.” Paul Green during a chilly evening at Shark Park.

“If the Wests Tigers think they’re going to win football games by chancing their arm and throwing ball round like this their kidding themselves.” Paul Harragon 10 minutes before the Wests Tigers put 5 unanswered tries on the 2004 Premiers, the Canterbury Bulldogs..

“Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken” Ray Hadley addressing the head of Telstra Stadium management in 2005 on the Footy Show about the recent crowd behaviour at Bulldogs matches.

“For Tigers fans, the Telstra Premiership trophy is like a Sports Illustrated centrefold- great to look at, but they know that they’ll probably never get their hands on it”Fox Sports’ Warren Smith, ‘Big League’, circa 2005

“Melbourne are coming to get the other mob,” Fatty Vautin caused a massive uproar in North Queensland in 2005 when he refereed to the Cowboys as “The Other Mob.

“He was conspicuous by his absence in the big calls.” Mark Geyer trying to give Referee Jason Robinson a wrap during the 2005 Jersey Flegg Grand Final.

“Rothfield has sledged me for more than a decade. His bitterness towards me has overtaken common sense and accuracy where my name is concerned. He is constantly wrong about me but that doesn’t stop him backing up for another go. He has never contacted me to verify a story. He once sent me an abusive email. My email response must have hit the mark because he’s never written to me again. These days he’s just spitting into the wind. Every time he opens his mouth about me it blows right back in his face.” Phil Gould unload on newspaper columnist Phil Rothfield a week after reports that Rickey Stuart had gone to Roosters head honcho Phil Gould and complained that Gould was getting to involved in the matters of the first grade side.

“As for Rebecca Wilson?Ha, ha, ha. Sorry. I can’t even say her name without laughing. She must be trying to emulate Rothfield because her gossip column bears a striking resemblance to his style. Despite constantly writing about me over the years, she has never had the courage to contact me to verify a story. Her stories about me have been inaccurate, exaggerated, embellished and misrepresentative. As far as I am concerned, it has been a vindictive, deliberate and sustained campaign. It’s all become so boring and her credibility has suffered so much that she must be close to giving it away and allowing someone else to write that gossip column.” Gould again, this time targeting Telegraph hack Rebecca Wilson.

“And Ray Hadley? He often delivers vindictive attacks on individuals, sometimes targeting their very livelihood. Don’t take my word for it. Ask people such as Brian Smith, Paul Vautin, Peter Sterling, John Gibbs and Andrew Voss. He, too, has never had the courage to phone me to verify a story before shooting off his mouth. I wonder why? Like Rothfield, Hadley is extremely thin-skinned. They dish it out but can’t take it.” Gould AGAIN, this time taking aim at radio commentator Ray Hadley.

“I’ve got just one word to say … Go the Rabbitohs!” Mario Fenech doing side line commentary for Channel 9 gives us just one word!

“Jamie Lyon is a fine player and did well for NSW as a youngster a few years ago. Then he became stale and left the game, went overseas to play in the weaker English league, and since returning to Australia he’s received an undeserved armchair ride back into representative football.” Phil Gould comments on Jamie Lyons fast tracking into Australia rep sides after his return from England. I agree 100%!

“No one does misplaced optimism quite like the English” New Zealand Herald writer Steve Deane talking about the English BBC commentators during Australia’s 26-16 win over England in the 2009 Four Nations.

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