“Legendary” rugby league commentator, Ray Warren, 78, is retiring from the big screens after more than 50 years of television broadcast.
Over his long standing career, Warren, popularly known as “Rabs”, has secured himself as a true Australia sports icon, having racked up an impressive portfolio of sporting coverage over the years.
After confirming the news on Wednesday, June 1, Warren told The Sydney Morning Herald his “time in the commentary box was over” and that despite being just shy of calling 100 origin games, he “had nothing to prove”.
“After calling rugby league and other sports for 55 years including 99 Origins, I have decided my time in the commentary box is over,” Warren said.
“Obviously it’s a sad time however I will still be employed by Nine doing whatever is required of me.”
Nine News took to their Twitter page, NRL on Nine, to announce the news, describing Warren as a “decorated” commentator and “Legendary Wide World of Sports caller”.
After a decorated commentary career spanning 55 years, legendary Wide World of Sports caller Ray Warren has announced he has stepped away from calling live sport. ???? #9WWOS #NRL pic.twitter.com/UUy00NkQlw
— NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) June 1, 2022
A number of official sporting pages, fans and fellow commentators were quick to respond to the saddening news as they hailed Warren as “the voice of Australian Rugby League”.
“The Voice of Rugby League”, Ray Warren has officially called time on his legendary commentary career.
He called 99 #Origin matches and 45 Grand Finals over 55 years of commentating live sport!
Thanks for the memories, Rabs. ???????? pic.twitter.com/CqpAwso7ZW
— NRL (@NRL) June 1, 2022
— Alex Tyrer Graham (@AlexG6) June 1, 2022
Greatest there was. Greatest there ever will be https://t.co/OqM2WvcFUs
— Dan Ginnane (@DanGinnane) June 1, 2022
Rabs, you’re the best there’s been. I wouldn’t have pursued my dream of sports broadcasting were it not for you. You’ve inspired many and entertained all. A wonderful man, mentor and colleague. Thank you and congrats. ???? #Rabs #thanksrabs @NRLonNine @wwos
— Mathew Thompson (@MathewJThompson) June 1, 2022
Since 1982, when State of Origin first emerged, Warren has called 99 of the 122 iconic rugby league duals and has commentated 45 grand finals over the course of his career.
But his commentating achievements don’t stop there, Warren took his career to new highs when he commentated swimming at three Olympic Games and three Melbourne cups.
The honourable commentator kicked off his career at the Australian radio station, 2LF, in 1996, before quickly securing a gig at well-known Sydney radio station 2GB. Before long, Warren was commentating with Channel 10 for midweek Amco Cup matches before going on to establish himself as Channel Nine’s chief league commentator in the 1990s.
The sports TV star is popularly known for his iconic on-air one liners, including “that’s not a try, that’s a miracle” – a line he used when Mark Coyne scored the awe-inspiring match-winning origin try for Queensland in the Sydney series opener in 1994.