Ray Warren, a legendary rugby league commentator, has announced his retirement. For five decades, the 78-year-old Junee native has been the sport’s voice, calling numerous great moments at both club and representative level. Warren will leave the commentary box this year, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, but will continue engaged with Channel Nine.
What did Ray Warren say about his retirement?
Warren did not play in the first 12 rounds of the NRL season, so the decision puts an end to uncertainty over his future.
“I have decided my time in the commentary box is done after chatting with my family and calling rugby league and other sports for 55 years,” Warren said in a statement. “I’ll miss talking a lot, but with my 80th birthday only a year away, I think it’s time for me to move on.”
During his successful career, which saw him elected to the NRL Hall of Fame in 2019, Warren called 45 first-grade grand finals and 99 State of Origin games. Warren, often known as ‘Rabbits’ or ‘Rabs,’ leaves behind a legacy that will never be equaled in the world of rugby league.
With Dan Ginnane, Warren Smith, and Andrew Voss having signed with Fox League, Mat Thompson is anticipated to call the 2018 Origin series and take over as the voice of Channel Nine permanently.
Tributes paid to Ray Warren:
Following the announcement of his retirement on Wednesday afternoon, tributes began to pour in for the legendary caller.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC), Peter V’landys, has joined the chorus of supporters of the veteran broadcaster. “Only one word comes to me, legend, and I believe that expresses it all.” “His retirement has made rugby league a much worse place today,” V’landys stated in a statement.
“As one of our earliest ever donors, Ray was rightfully inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame. His career, which carried him through Channel 9, Channel 10, Radio 2GB, and Radio 2LF in Young, will be remembered for the rest of his life, and his voice will always be associated with Rugby League,” he concluded.
“I’m glad Ray will continue to be a part of the Wide World of Sports broadcasts, even if it’s not behind the microphone he made his own.”
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