On Saturday the 27th of June, Simon Hill announced that his current Fox Sports contract would end on Tuesday and that it would not be renewed.
The Australian footballing world went into chaos, with former The Australian writer Ray Gatt tweeting this message.
The people who run Fox Sport have a lot to answer for regarding the Simon Hill situation. Just terrible. They have no understanding of the ramifications of this decision. Awful. Just awful.
— Ray Gatt (@Gatty54) June 26, 2020
For those that don’t know Simon Hill, he was the chief football commentator at Fox Sports for both the A-League and Socceroos. He joined Foxtel in 2006, after commentating on the Germany World Cup.
Hill has been at the heart of some of the biggest moments for Australian football, and I decided to take a look at some of my personal favourites in no particular order.
Socceroos’ first World Cup goal
When reading Tim Cahill’s book, I realised that he was doing a Weet-Bix advertisement at the time of the World Cup. In the aftermath of the celebrations for the goal, Simon Hill says: “He did have his Weet-Bix this morning”.
These were the words that stuck with me, the fact that he had found a way to merge a current event within his speech.
This allowed people who had watched the advertisement to form a bond with Tim Cahill, straight away promoting the product in a good way.
It is unknown whether Hill meant to do this, but the impulse to state it shows his unique instincts as a commentator.
James Troisi’s winning goal in the Asian Cup final
This was the match that could finally win the Socceroos’ first major trophy, and who else but Simon Hill to lead the commentary, almost ten years after he made his name in Australia’s 2006 World Cup.
When James Troisi thumped home the goal, the words out of Simon Hill’s mouth were: “chance, GOAL!”
It was a purely amazing moment, in front of the 76,385 fans in Stadium Australia, and Simon Hill’s commentary showed how simply beautiful this game was.
Terry Antonis’ goal against Sydney FC
It was an astonishing moment in A-League history, which saw Terry Antonis score an own goal with just 15 seconds of stoppage time left, before making a storming run and finishing in the 117th minute.
Simon Hill’s words after the goal: “The villain turned hero in navy blue”.
Another simple yet iconic line.
Penalty shootout versus Uruguay
The emotion had got to Simon Hill and Craig Foster. They were struggling to work out how many penalties Australia had to take to be there.
They finally found their answer, as Craig Foster says: “It’s 4-2, he can win it for us.”
Simon Hill says: “Here’s John Aloisi for a place in the World Cup…” and we all know what happens next.
Two of Australia’s greatest football personalities can’t contain their emotion and instead celebrate together in a moment of pure joy.
While this may just seem like a list of my favourite Australian football moments, the reason why Simon Hill is such a special commentator is that, in all of these moments, he is the one commentating.
For me, a commentator is someone who watches a game with you, someone to compare your opinions and observations with.
For me, Simon Hill plays that role perfectly and will be deeply missed in the coming years in Australian football.
Good luck in the future, Simon.