Being an AFL fan, I tend to be listening on a weekend to the likes of Bruce McAvaney, Anthony Hudson and Brian Taylor – who in their own rights are all very talented callers.
However along with the great Dennis Cometti, no commentator has captivated me more then what Ray Warren has. Dubbed “the voice of rugby league” Ray Warren has not only hooked me to watching the NRL on a weekend but also glued millions of other sports lovers around Australia if not the world to the television.
Warren has spent over half a century in the sports broadcasting industry and at 76 the man is calling still as if he were 30. What’s even more amazing is that Ray’s love and passion for the NRL has remained the same for his entire working life. In fact it may have even strengthened.
Warren’s love for calling sports originated as a young kid in Junee where he would commentate marbles rolling down a slope. Little did Ray know, that this strange activity would greatly benefit him as he embarked on becoming a sports commentator.
Originally starting off in radio, a young and enthusiastic 23 year old Ray Warren starting off by calling the Maher Cup in 1966 after leaving the ACT police force to follow his dream.
Warren spent two years travelling to towns covering the rugby and was then eventually picked up by radio station 2GB as a young race and rugby league caller. From here Ray went on to bigger and better things and in 1974 he covered his first ever television event for Channel 10.
In 1986 Warren was sacked by Network 10 after he controversially refused to go over and commentate the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles due to his fear of flying. However, despite this setback Warren joined the Nine Network in 1989 as a rugby league caller and today he still remains a caller at nine and a key part of their broadcasting team.
Ray has been fortunate enough to call a number of Melbourne Cups, Olympic Games, countless NRL grand finals and 93 Origin games in his illustrious career that has spanned for than 50 years.
Ray Warren has been officially inducted into the NRL’s Hall of Fame.
Ray Warren has added to rugby league’s theatre like no else ever before. The famous rugby league moments have almost been made famous, not by the players or the theatre but more so because Ray Warren has been the soundtrack to them.
He is and always will be the greatest rugby league caller the game has ever seen, and I personally am looking forward to Ray producing yet another iconic call in the upcoming finals series.