Ray Warren’s Book Launch by Barry Ross.
The Long Bar in the Sydney Cricket Ground Members Stand was the perfect place for the launch of Ray Warren’s book, “The Voice”. Well over 100 people enjoyed the very tasteful occasion on Wednesday, 23 July. Written by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Chief Sports Writer, Andrew Webster, The Voice is now available in book stores and other places all around Australia. It can also be obtained in ebook form.
Many of Sydney’s leading sporting and television identities enjoyed the informal and friendly function. The high regard for which Ray is held throughout the community, was evident from the warm and humorous speeches made by such luminaries as Phil Gould, David Gyngell, Ken Sutcliffe, Karl Stefanovic and the author, Andrew Webster.
Gould emphasised the positives Ray brings to Rugby League with his knowledge and commentary during his calls. “I believe Ray Warren is the best Rugby League caller of all time,” said Gould, “and the sense of theatre he brings to the call, makes our game better.”
Gyngell pointed out that Ray was one of Channel 9’s marquee personalities.
“We are honoured and privileged to have you working for us,” said the Channel 9 chief executive.
In his reply, Ray, who has called 78 State of Origin games, said that he was proud of the book because it is different and doesn’t bag anybody. “I came from a humble background with humble parents and I chased my dream,” he said. “I am a hypochondriac, a pessimist and a pest and I am extremely grateful for the support of my wife Cher, my daughter Holly and my sons, Mark and Chris.”
At the launch, Ray did not forget to thank Nero books publisher, Jeanne Ryckmans and Karen Le Fevre, from the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust media department, who nominated him for his recent OAM award. He also presented some flowers to Judy Gibson, the wife of Team of the Century coach, Jack Gibson, who passed away in 2008 and thanked Professor Phillip Stricker and Dr. David Malouf, who have been helping him through his recent prostrate problems.
Ken Sutcliffe as MC opened the launch by saying, “Ray Warren, this is your day at one of the most significant sporting arenas in the world.” This was a very appropriate statement about a man who has excelled in his commentary on a wide spectrum of sports.
As well as the personalities mentioned, others present included Peter Wynn, Darryl Brohman, Laurie Daley, Paul Vautin, Peter Stirling, Brad Fittler, Mark Geyer, Sean Garlick, Billy Birmingham, Ben Fordham, Cameron Williams, Jamie Barkley and Sue Channels. A video clip by a Reg Warren, who claimed to be one of Ray’s abandoned brothers, resulted plenty of laughter from the guests. Reg’s voice sounded a lot like that of the 12th man, Billy Birmingham.