Morphett at Warrnambool’s May Races in 2013, where his horse Rococco won. Photo: Damian White/Warrnambool StandardVeteran sports broadcaster Drew Morphett has died at the age of 69.
Morphett, who was on air calling the footy on 3AW just last weekend, was found by his wife Karen at their Pakenham home on Friday night.
Long-time friend Sandy Roberts said Morphett had passed away while watching the match between Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.
He had retired from full time broadcasting last year, after a long and distinguished career with the ABC.
Worked with the legendary Drew Morphett & regarded him as a mentor, one of the best & thoughts with Karen #DrewMorphett#TheWinnerspic.twitter苏州美甲学校/9CUXUSEMC0
— Jim Wilson (@JimWilsonTV) August 26, 2017Sad day in @abcgrandstand office with news former colleague Drew Morphett has passed away. Thoughts with Karen & family & sporting family 💔
— Shannon Byrne (@shannonbyrne23) August 26, 2017
“Devastated with the passing of Drew Morphett. I was lucky enough to work with the great man on cricket and footy. Loved his company,” he said.
In an interview with Fairfax Media in 2015, ahead of the relaunch ofThe Winners Rebooted, Morphett said television commentary had changed through the years – and not necessarily for the better.
“I reckon we said less then. We identified the players and threw in a comment about ‘getting on top, getting better the further game goes, good win there against the odds’ – that sort of stuff,” Morphett said.
“These days, and I am not meaning to denigrate the current callers, but they are doing radio calls for television. You don’t have to be saying: ‘He looks up, the kick’s on its way’.
“That’s not television commentary – you can see the kick is on its way. We were more into what you believe is classic television commentary, rather than just wall-to-wall words.”
Morphett also recalled producingThe Winnersin the 1980s, when the tales from the time weren’t confined to what happened on the field.
ProducingThe Winnerswas its own adventure, including ensuring a tape was put on a plane bound for Western Australia early on a Sunday morning so ABC viewers in that football-mad state had their weekly fix of the big league on that same night.
Then there was the challenge of trying to find a particular highlight on the film required for the mark and goal of the day, which could take about 40 minutes.
“These days … you can do it in about two seconds,” Morphett said.
Sports broadcaster and Brownlow medallist Brad Hardie told Perth’s 6PR radio he had become good friends with Mr Morphett over the years, and was looking forward to calling the Fremantle Dockers’ match against Essendon with him on Sunday.
“I texted him last night and he was having a bottle of shiraz, we’ve lost a great one there,” Mr Hardie said.
“He (Morphett) was due to go out on Friday, going down a European river for 15 nights first class with Caz. He was a first class fella.”
Sydney Morning Herald.