Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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From my travels I have collected many photos; had them sent to me or saved them, because, well, behind most of them there is a good story!
8 June 2014
The mighty Colin Meads of King Country New Zealand, who was the symbol of everything that was tough about rugby in the 1960s and '70s. Here he is with his upper body covered in plaster playing with his young son. Weeks earlier near his farm Meads had suffered a broken back after a motor vehicle crash. A matter of months later he had recovered sufficiently to play full international games again, though his All Black days were over. Read more »
3 June 2014
Some people journey to Jerusalem or Mecca or other Holy places. Here is Keith Quinn at his personal 'place of pilgrimage'; at the grave of William Webb Ellis at Menton, Southern France. It serene place where one can reflect whether the man buried there really did start the game of rugby in 1823. Read more »
1 June 2014
In the 1950s when the big test matches were played it was common for air planes to fly over the grounds dragging advertising slogans. This gave the opportunity for wonderful photographs to be taken. This one was taken in 1959 when officially it was 57,000 people attended the All Blacks v British Lions in Christchurch. Note the packed crowd on the embankment (right hand side) but seated fans on the ground in front of the bank. Read more »
The wettest day ever saw NZ beat Scotland 24-0 at the Eden Park pool! Deep puddles everywhere. The ABs swam better than their opponents!
The famous New Zealand radio commentator who revolutionised the way rugby commentary was done all over the world.
The Wellington born McCarthy had essentially an outward personality; he loved talking, and he had had time on stage as a lad in the early 1930s in New Zealand. It followed then that he was not phased by nerves when he became a rugby commentator. He broadcast his games with a style so different from the conservative way callers had been first commentated the game in Britain. McCarthy was loud and brazen not afraid to raise his voice and ‘let go’ on the air.
When he was sent by the New Zealand Government to broadcast the 1945-46 Kiwi Army rugby of Britain back to New Zealand his style fascinated the conformist BBC. They took his broadcasts and put them on their stations. They were amazed that he could engender so much excitement. The BBC wanted him to stay on. Instead McCarthy came back to New Zealand, but his style lingered in Britain. Gone were the stuffy, some might say plum-in-the-mouth callers and encouraged was the McCarthy style. The great Scottish TV commentator, Bill McLaren, recalls how, as a young fledgling radio man, he was sent by the BBC to Cardiff in 1954 to stand behind McCarthy and watch ‘how’ he broadcast a game.
Because of the high peaks of emotion surrounding the 1956 Springbok tour of New Zealand Winston’s words of description and catchphrases became the catchphrases of the New Zealand nation. His most famous call was ‘listen….it’s a goal!’ when a shot at goal was taken. He would allow the cheering of the crowd to tell the radio audience first whether a kick was on target or not.
In his time, in the 1940s and ‘50s Winston McCarthy became one of the best-known New Zealanders. He became the eyes and ears of New Zealand’s voracious appetite for listening to their All Black team on tour. It was commonly said around the country that if the All Black selectors of the time could not see every game being played each week they were influenced in their selection of test teams by what McCarthy had said on the air. His words weighed that heavily.
How many test matches for Australia did the three famous Ella brothers play, on the field at the same time?