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Rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis dies at 70

Article image for Rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis dies at 70

Former Kangaroos captain and inaugural NSW State of Origin Captain Tommy Raudonikis has died overnight after a long battle with illness. 

Mark Levy received the “terrible, terrible news” on air.

“This news will be devastating not only for the rugby league community but for Tommy’s friends and family.

“The world is poorer for the passing of Tommy Raudonikis. A larger than life character and a lot of fun.”

Mark knew Raudonikis personally, having spent time with him in the NRL sphere.

“We had a lot of fun with Tommy in the broadcast box for the Continuous Call Team.”

Raudonikis was 70 years old.

He will be honoured with a moment’s silence before each game in round five of the Telstra Premiership.

Click PLAY below to hear Mark Levy’s comments in full

Tommy’s former coach at the Western Suburbs Magpies, Roy Masters, recounted stories to Jim Wilson – including an explanation of the team’s rather unique warm-up.

Click PLAY below to hear more 

Former NSW Blues player Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll delved into Tommy’s history as a coach, including the famous State of Origin ‘Cattledog call’.

“The scary thing for me was going into the sheds after that, Tommy got me in a headlock, and back then he was a very, very heavy smoker.

“He had the breath of deadset 40 Alsatians, and he said ‘I love you Spud!’ and there goes the Cattledog.”

Click PLAY below to hear more

Darryl Brohman recalled Raudonikis’ defining sense of humour.

“He was just one of those blokes that everyone loved.”

Click PLAY below to hear more 

Phil ‘Gus’ Gould told Jim Tommy reflected that love back on others, making those who knew him feel special.

“It didn’t matter who it was … whether it was a punter in a pub that just wanted two minutes of his time, or the Prime Minister of Australia, he treated everyone the same.”

Click PLAY below to hear more

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo told Mark, Raudonikis “will be sorely missed”.

“He represented everything that we love about rugby league.”

Click PLAY below to hear more 

Kerri-Anne Kennerley told Mark of the time she convinced Raudonikis into a sequin dress on television.

Click PLAY below to hear more 

Image: Mark Evans/Getty Images

NRL community pays tribute
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