In early March, legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney, who has called everything from footy to the Olympics, announced he was giving up his role as footy commentator with Australia's Channel Seven. Other than a five-year absence between 2002 and 2006 (when Seven lost the TV rights), McAvaney has been there with the free-to-air coverage. He has notched over 1000 games, including 20 Grand Finals; and formed a great partnership with the equally legendary Dennis Cometti (who retired several years ago). Although he is bowing out of football, he will continue with Seven's horse racing carnival and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics - his specialty is track and field.
In making the announcement, the 67-year-old McAvaney said, "I felt like I got to a stage in my career where I had to reduce my workload. I'm certainly not anything close to retirement, it's just a new phase, where I cut back slightly. Anything I'm asked to do now I'm going to do with the same enthusiasm and same commitment." McAvaney was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 but said it had nothing to do with his decision.
He did say he would miss the game and joked, "I just visualize when Richmond and Carlton run out there in round one, and the ball is bounced, I’m going to climb a wall somewhere." He continued, I’m going to have to move on and just be a fan like everybody else ... I still feel like there is a bright future. In a ridiculous way, I still feel like I haven’t reached my potential. I still want to get better and that’s what I am hoping to do over the next few years. For those that like me on air, they are still going to see me. For those that say “shoosh”, bad luck.”
He received Australia's OAM award in 2002 and was also inducted into the sports hall of fame. He was also the long-time host of the Brownlow Medal ceremonies but stepped away from that several years ago. Channel Seven announced that James Brayshaw, former host of the Footy Show, will replace Bruce.
Sources: headtopics.com, afl.com.au
Article last changed on Friday, March 05, 2021 - 1:09 PM EST