Rugby league legend Peter Sterling had an emotional goodbye during his final appearance on the Sunday Footy Show as he wraps up his media duties with Nine after Sunday night’s NRL grand final.
After 30 years on Australian television after a successful career as a player with the Parramatta Eels, Sterling hangs up the mic and resigns from his role with Nine.
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The NRL analyst who famously made the line ‘If we freeze play here’ looked back on his impressive media career.
“It was a great time because it never felt like work,” Sterling said after reviewing the best moments from his time on The Footy Show and commenting for Nine.
“If you look at that” [highlights reel], it’s just ridiculous stuff and really fun with good people.
“I have to thank this network, they put a stop to me 30 years ago and I don’t think any of us thought it would take that long – but here we are.”
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Sterling revealed that it took him a while to warm up to the role in front of the camera, but once he got there, he loved the experience.
“I wasn’t a big fan at first because I liked the more serious side of things, but it was an all-in,” he said.
“There is no favorite moment. It was just something different every week.
“Fatty (Paul Vautin) was fantastic. Fatty was The Footy Show and I loved being next to him.
“I look back at things now and you just wouldn’t get away with half the things. It was politically incorrect in so many ways.
“Fatty was great and also worked with Ray Warren. I probably worked my first six weeks with a concussion because when Rabs goes for the binoculars the elbows flare up and I didn’t realize it for a while. So after a while you would know that he went for the binoculars that you would bend down and weave.”
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Sterling thanked the many people who have supported him over the past three decades, leaving the panel of Erin Molan, Brad Fittler and Ruan Sims on the brink of tears.
“I must take this opportunity to thank the network and everyone behind the scenes,” he said.
“Everyone whose job it is to make us look and sound good, thank you so much for all these years. I hope you have never felt unappreciated, because it certainly never has been.
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“I want to thank the players, coaches and teams over the years for being so accessible. If you’ve been knocked on a Friday or Saturday, the last thing you want is to come and talk about it on Sunday morning, but they make themselves available to us.
“Most importantly, the people back home who let us into their lounge areas on Sunday, thank you for making us so welcome. I hope we gave you a good lead on the game and given you appreciation and enjoyment for what is so good for us been .
“I will miss you all, but I will watch from a distance.”
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