Tony Charlton passes away

Written By Unknown on Senin, 17 Desember 2012 | 14.43

Sports broadcaster Tony Charlton launches Fox Footy 2012 in this reflective video on AFL broadcasting

Tony Charlton, Channel Seven's first football commentator, has passed away. Picture: Lucy Swinstead. Source: Herald Sun

BROADCASTER Tony Charlton has been remembered as one of the best in the business - a man listened to by thousands, who always lent an ear to others.

AFL legends have paid tribute to the man whose voice became synonymous with the game. He died this morning after a battle with bowel cancer. He was 83.

Coach Kevin Sheedy said Charlton, an AFL Hall of Fame inductee, was a fantastic contributor in and out of the footy arena.

"He was a marvellous communicator with all the fans,'' Sheedy said. ``His voice, he was a master of the English language in many ways. People loved listening to him.

"He was an utter gentleman. You could not have met a nicer person, just a top class Australian citizen.''

Charlton will be remembered as one of Australia's finest sporting broadcasters, joining Channel Nine for the first major TV event in Australia, the 1956 Olympic Games.

Leave your tributes for Charlton below.

Afterwards, he became Channel Seven's first football commentator before returning to Nine for 11 years as producer and presenter of footy shows and other entertainment.

Tony Charlton, left, during his time as organiser of the Australian Open Golf tournament, with assistant Mel McLennan. Source: HWT Image Library

He was later promoter and tournament director of the Australian Open, the PGA Championship and the Victorian Open from 1970 to 1983. He was also a restauranteur and a pilot. 

Obituary: There will never be another Tony Charlton

He covered three Olympics and two Commonwealth Games for TV as well as tennis champion Rod Laver's second Grand Slam in 1969, track stars John Landy and Herb Elliott breaking the four minute mile and racing driver Jack Brabham winning the world championship.

He gave his time to sporting and charitable causes including the Alfred Hospital, Victorian Olympic Council and the Australian Commemorative Plaques group which marks sites of Australian military involvements around the world.

How we covered Charlton's Hall of Fame entry

Charlton was awarded an OAM in 1990 and an AM in 2003. In 2008 he received the Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee.

Fellow broadcaster Kevin Bartlett said Charlton was one of the most liked broadcasters in the business.

"He was a wonderful presenter with a unique voice,'' Bartlett said. "He was a person who always gave advice and tried to help with positive feedback. He was a generous performer and that's what made him such a well liked person.

"This is very sad because he was one of the greats of Australian broadcasting. He seemed to be a person who always had an ear,  who listened and watched and always gave generously in feedback.''

Tony Charlton sat down with Mike Sheahan to discuss his life in sport in one of the great Open Mike interviews of 2012. Re-live some of the highlights.

Ron Barassi said the pair had shared mutual respect for each other over many years.

"We are missing a wonderful person today,'' Barassi said. "I know we respected each other and liked each other.

"It was not just what he said but it was how he said it with his distinctive and unusual voice, not one that grated but one you wanted to hear.''

Melbourne Cricket Club president Paul Sheahan said Charlton was "selfless''. "His concern was always for others, never for himself,'' Mr Sheahan said.

"MCC members will fondly remember Tony for his class and commanding presence behind the microphone, where he earned a reputation as one of the finest function hosts in the country.

"Needless to say, he will be missed by many and our thoughts are very much with Loris and the Charlton family at this time.''

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said he was always there for those in need.

"He had a wonderful sense of humour and had a voice that resonated with the community,'' Mr Kennett said. ``But above all, Tony was always on the road. Always visiting people. He was a Good Samaritan.''

Australia Day Committee chair Stefan Romaniw has led a chorus for Charlton's efforts to help others.

"Apart from his media career, Tony contributed  to many causes and was recognised for his efforts. He always kept the limelight on others and never on himself.

"He was a fine Woolworths Australian Day Ambassador and will be sadly missed.''

Broadcaster Neil Mitchell paid tribute to Charlton.

"He had one of the best contact books I've ever seen. But the overwhelming thing I have about Tony is his decency. He was a companionate, caring man," Mitchell told 3AW.

Commentator Drew Morphett took to Twitter to express his condolences.

"It will be hard to broadcast cricket today following news of Tony Charlton's death. Great man. Who will speak at his funeral? He was the best," he tweeted.

Gerard Whateley tweeted: "We are poorer for the passing of Tony Charlton. A wonderful man."

Other highlights from his career include:

* For 30 years, MC in each Capital City of the Caltex Sports Star of the Year series. Many of these occasions were televised.

* 1988-2008 (incl) MC of the Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner.

* Presenter in Melbourne for over 25 years, of the Dawn Service and Anzac Requiem each Anzac Day.

* 7 Network commentator for the VP Day 50th anniversary coverage and presenter at the Shrine of the VE Day 50th anniversary ceremony and the VP Ecumenical Service.

* 2005 – member of the inaugural Government of Victoria Spirit of Anzac Prize tour (the Western Front).

* 2008 – Chairman, Organising Committee of the World Latin American Dancesport Championship.

FoxSports will air Mike Sheahan's Open Mike interview with Tony Charlton from July this year at 9pm AEDT tonight (and 9.30pm AEDT on FoxSports 2).

2011 AFL Hall Of Fame inductees James Hird, Mark Ricciuto, Nathan Buckley, Michael Voss and Tony Charlton. Picture: Michael Dodge Source: Herald Sun

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