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Born in Te Kuiti, King Country, New Zealand but mostly raised in Wellington where he has lived most of his life, Keith Quinn attended Berhampore Primary School, South Wellington Intermediate School (SWIS) and Wellington College.
Upon leaving secondary school he went straight into broadcasting. He made his first on-air effort on radio in May 1967, reading the sports news on New Zealand's National Radio. His first appearance on TV followed, as a sports news presenter, in 1968.
His first rugby commentary was on radio in 1971 and on television in 1973.
By 2016 he could look back on having attended all eight Rugby World Cups, the Summer Olympics Games ten times, the Youth Summer Olympic Games once (In Nanjing in 2014), ten Commonwealth Games and three Paralympic Games.
He has also broadcast on the world 7 aside rugby circuit in the last 16 years. He made visits to approximately 120 global cities for these tournaments. He has been to the Hong Kong Sevens 25 times since 1988.
He has written 15 books, mostly on the subject of rugby, including the ‘Encyclopedia of World Rugby’ which went to three global editions. His own life story ‘Keith Quinn – A Lucky Man’ was published in 2000 and sold 20,000 copies.
His most recent published book in 2015 was 'Quinn's Whims' his collection of thoughts and records of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It was the third in a similar series of mostyl rugby anecdotes; the others being 'Quinn's Quirks' (2007) and 'Quinn's Quips' (2012).
In 2017 he began a personal attempt to document, by way of boutique publishing, detailed records of each Rugby World Cup tournament. His effort on the 1987 Cup tournament, called 'Statistics and Stories of the 1987 Rugby World Cup' already exists and 1991's book is finished. He began 2018 detailing all games, scorers, files and records of the 1995 event. The summaries of all players and referees build from each tournament into previously unseen files.
In 2012 his book, 'The A-Z of Meads', was a popular contribution to the 'legend' of Sir Colin Meads in New Zealand. It contained the best yarns and stories from the life and sports career of the great All Black, Meads.
Keith was the MC for the unveiling of the statue of Meads in the main street of Te Kuiti in June, 2017.
Keith still broadcasts occasionally on New Zealand radio stations, writes columns for 'NZToday' and others when approached, contributes to his own website "KeithQuinnRugby.com' and is a regular contributor on twitter. In 2009 he joined Sky TV as presenter for a four season run on the show called ‘Test Match Stories.’ Between 2010-and 2016 he was a regular commentator on the popular series ‘Land Rover 1st XV Rugby, which show-cased Secondary Schools rugby.
During the tour of New Zealand in 2017 by the British and Irish Lions rugby team he became an internet reporter for the first time. He filed in-vision reports via Skype for a Turkish TV Station in Ankara.
In 1997, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made Member of New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to sports journalism. In 2002 he was given a 'T.P' Lifetime Award for an 'Outstanding contribution to sport through journalism in New Zealand. In 2005 he was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Media Trophy, to recognize a sports journalist for his/her best contribution towards the promotion of Sports and Olympism in their country.
In 2010 he was awarded the annual Steinlager Silver Salver by the New Zealand Rugby Union for 'Outstanding Service to Rugby' in New Zealand. Other winners of this award have been Sir Brian Lochore, Sir Fred Allen, Sir Colin Meads, Sir Terry McLean and Sir John Graham.
In 2016 he was presented, by the Sport Wellington organisation, with a 'Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award, for service to sport in Wellington City.'
In 2014 he was appointed President of New Zealand's oldest 'Playing Through' rugby club - The Wellington Football Club. It is for a three-year term. (It is agreed that Nelson Football Club is older but twice it went into abeyance during the war years. The Wellington FC has fielded senior 'adult' teams every weekend since 1870. Hence it is call NZ's oldest 'Playing Through' club.) The club is so old in New Zealand terms, the word 'rugby' does not appear in its masthead.
He is married to the very patient Anne (in 1970) and they have three children and five grandchildren.
Keith and Anne were also popular leaders on All Black Supporters tours to UK and France from 2007-2014. At the 2015 Rugby World Cup he was an 'Ambassador' at the Rugby World Cup for the Wellington based New Zealand travel group, Williment Sport Travel.
And the Richie McCaw led, and Graham Henry coached, 2011 All Blacks begin their campaign by beating Tonga 41-10 on Eden Park
Cardiff and Wales
53 internationals for Wales 1967–78
10 internationals for British Isles 1968–74
Gareth Edwards was one of the most widely acclaimed rugby players of all time – a brilliantly versatile halfback and a strong physical competitor who captured the imagination and admiration of players and followers all over the world.
Edwards first came to prominence outside Wales as a teenager on the Cardiff club’s tour of South Africa in 1967, where he played in a number of positions in the backline. Once back in Wales his enormous talents were soon focused on scrumhalf play. He was chosen for his country three months before his 20th birthday and was never dropped until his retirement. Ten years later, with 53 caps, he had set a record for most internationals for Wales, which stood until passed by J.P.R. Williams in 1981. Edwards’s tests were consecutive – both a world record then, and a monumental feat.
In all his internationals, he was in the losing side on no more than 15 occasions. He scored 20 tries in internationals, at the time also a Welsh record, although later equalled by Gerald Davies and later still passed by Ieuan Evans and Gareth Thomas. Edwards’ total of 63 internationals was also, in its time of few tests in any year, the world’s highest for a scrumhalf. He was Wales’s youngest ever international captain (20 years, seven months in the match against Scotland in February 1968).
At the time of his debut for Wales, in the Five Nations match v France in 1967, Edwards was a physical education student at Cardiff Training College. Later, he switched clubs to Cardiff and became a successful businessman. Later still, at the end of his playing days, he was a media commentator and reporter on the game.
A master of the spin-pass, Edwards had all the other attributes of the complete scrumhalf. His kicking was skilful, his running devastating to any of the opposition that could stay near his electric bursts, and his competitiveness was relentless. He dominated many matches simply because of his presence on the field. He was a brilliant opportunist and scorer of tries.
Perhaps the only aspect of his game that did not reach the highest level was as a captain. Many people felt he was inhibited slightly as a leader, with the result that other Welshmen came past him to lead the national XV. He did not resent this, rather it allowed him to return his full concentration to the scrumhalf role. In all, he was captain of his country in 13 tests.
Edwards played superbly in partnership with that other great Welsh personality, Barry John. The two were together as a scrum-outside half combination on 23 occasions, then the world record. Edwards was part of the great era in Welsh rugby that followed almost exactly the dates of his career. He also played superbly for the British Isles in New Zealand in 1971 and in South Africa in 1974. Both those series were won during what were some of British rugby’s greatest days.
He took part in and, indeed, scored the try that is often hailed as one of the greatest ever seen in the game. It was for the Barbarians club against the All Blacks of 1972–73 at Cardiff. The capacity home crowd of 60,000 roared so loudly they distorted forever the television recordings of Edwards diving in at the end of a 90-metre movement.
Edwards possessed a most charming and modest personality, and became in his time one of the most revered characters in Wales – and the rest of the rugby world.
In 1997 he was one of the first players inaugurated into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
Stories abound about Gareth Edwards’ prowess at the game. One story has it that on the day of an England-Wales game at Twickenham, one Welsh supporter could not get a ticket so he waited forlornly outside the ground hoping at least to soak up some of the atmosphere and to hear the result. Eventually he became frustrated at not knowing what was happening in the game, so he called up to some people who were in the ground and asked them what was happening. They happened to be English, so they called back ungraciously that all the Welsh team except Gareth Edwards had been carried off injured. This disturbed the already sad Welsh supporter, but he remained typically optimistic. When a huge roar erupted from the ground a few minutes later, he again called up to the crowd. ‘What’s happened, what’s happened?' he said, 'Gareth scored, has he?’
Such a story is typical of the admiration and affection that existed for one of the greatest of rugby men.
Which well-known sevens rugby coach made this memorable quotation? 'At the Hong Kong sevens bowls and plates are only for eating off - not playing for?'