By Marcus Honesta
Personally speaking, I couldn’t care less, and indeed would be happy if Rugby League disappeared off the face of the earth, and the one and only true football code, Rugby Union even in the parlous state that is currently in was the only one.
However, it does seem to provide a constant source of entertainment during the winter months to many sadly uninformed souls and therefore I can see my dreams never coming to fruition.
Indeed the off field antics of many of those that play the game serve to provide a constant source of scandal, incident and entertainment that fill the gossip pages of the tabloid media as sure as night follows day.
Sadly, given the way the administration of Rugby Union seems to be heading, it may well be my much loved and the only “game they play in heaven” may soon disappear into the vortex.
No doubt that the news of two of the biggest names in the commentary world of Rugby League today are hanging up their microphones will send shock and sadness through the hearts of many. After some 32 years Ray Hadley and Bob Fulton are calling it quits from their Saturday afternoon antics, to spend more time with their families.
In a carefully worded press release the management of the Nine Radio Station 2GB stated:
“Founded by Hadley in 1987, the show has dominated the ratings for three decades, first at 2UE and then switching to 2GB in 2002.
Rugby League immortal Bob Fulton has been with the Ray for 32 of the Continuous Call Team’s 33 years, forming an unbreakable bond on and off the radio.
Following the sudden death of founding CCT member Peter ‘Chippy’ Frilingos in 2004, Ray and Bob made a pact. When one of them walks away, they both will.
And as Bob says to Ray Hadley in a farewell chat on his morning show, “it’s time”.
“But look, what a great ride in the last 30 years to go to work with a few mates,” Bob says. “And we got paid for it!”
Bob is looking forward to spending weekends with his eight grandchildren and with Ray, outside of a radio studio.
“We’re best mates and our friendship is everlasting.”
Ray Hadley paid tribute to his great mate and all his CCT colleagues over the years saying, “it’s hard to put into words” how much the show means to him.
“We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve had so much fun over those 33 years.
“I have never, ever met a more loyal friend and colleague than Bob Fulton.”
While the announcement marks the end of an era, it by no means marks the end of the Continuous Call Team.
Ray and Bob’s decision will allow the next generation of broadcasters to take the lead, most notably Mark Levy who has been filling Ray’s shoes on a part-time basis for several years now.
From 2020, Ray and Bob will remain in touch with the CCT, acting as consultants and advisors, with Ray continuing to call State of Origin games and the NRL Grand Final.
Further announcements regarding the 2020 Continuous Call Team line up will be made in the near future.
Full statement from Nine Radio
So ends an era.