We would like to dedicate the 100th post on Golden Point RL to Eddie Hemmings.
Eddie Hemmings will hang up his microphone after calling the Wigan-Saints derby one last time on Good Friday.
The derby is always an entertaining battle, but regardless of the outcome on Friday afternoon, the closing statement from Hemmings at the end of the game will be his last for Sky Sports.
The broadcasting legend is saying goodbye after three decades at the forefront of the sport, and says he picked the derby as he wanted to go out “on a high”.
Hemmings has had many iconic moments in commentary, but his most famous was in the 2000 play-off game between St Helens and Bradford, a part of rugby league folklore dubbed ‘Wide to West’ in which Chris Joynt scored a try in the final play of the game to win the game for Saints.
“It’s 19 years ago now – 19 years since that,” said Hemmings.
“I remember it vividly to this day, I watch it back on occasions and the hair on the back of my neck just stands up all the time, and it almost brings a tear to my eye.”
Hemmings paid tribute to his colleagues on both sides of the camera, including Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson, the man next to him for the majority of his career in the gantry.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work for Sky Sports for nearly 30 years,” he said. “When Stevo retired, I said I’d give it a couple more years without him, and with Terry O’Connor and Barrie McDermott alongside me the fun has never stopped.
“There are far too many people to thank – but I’d just like to single out our Head of Rugby League Neville Smith and the most brilliant of researchers Ian Proctor, who have made my job so easy.
“Also, to the Super League coaches, who have trusted me and shared information with me – a huge debt of gratitude to all of them.
Smith, who will also retire after Good Friday, said: “For thirty years Eddie has been my colleague, my friend, my confidante, my family.
“At all times we have trusted each other’s instincts and relied on each other’s guidance through many a tricky on-air moment and shared the pure joys of broadcasting the sport we love.
“I hope his retirement brings him and Carole plenty of fun and happiness, and I know our families will stay the very best of friends. Ed, Good Luck Old Boy. It’s been a blast!”
The only thing we wish had happened is if Stevo had returned, just to make the occasion even more special than it already was.
Once again, Thank You Eddie for the wonderful commentary over the last three decades.
Here’s to the future.