Bruce McAvaney joins the ranks of SA sporting legends

Sports commentator Bruce McAvaney becomes only the eighth person to be recognized as a “Legend” in the SA Sports Hall of Fame, joining an elite group reserved for athletes who hold a “revered place in the community.”

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The Adelaide-born commentator, one of six South Australian sports stars inducted into the Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony at the Adelaide Oval on Friday, was unmasked as the Hall of Fame’s eighth ‘legend’ in a surprise announcement at the end of the night.

Legendary status is reserved for sporting figures who “hold a revered place in the community” and throughout their careers “deliver extraordinary feats that are hard to believe”.

The decision to recognize McAvaney as a legend was unanimously approved by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee and Board of Governors.

The survey brings McAvaney into rare company alongside Sir Donald Bradman, Bart Cummings, Barrie Robran, Victor Richardson, Gillian Rolton, Anna Meares and Russell Ebert.

Bruce McAvaney and South Africa’s Sport Minister Katrine Hildyard at the awards ceremony on Friday night. Photo: delivered

Speaking to the audience after learning the news, McAvaney described the award as a “massive shock.”

“I feel overwhelmed,” he said, adding that it was “the greatest compliment I can think of for anyone in the position I’m in right now.”

“The six of us (inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight) will share something together on the same night for the rest of our lives.

“And we all know the ups and downs of elite sport, mine in a slightly different way…but I’ve also been through the ups and downs as have the five that came with me tonight.”

(LR) Peter Ormsby (son of Hall of Fame bowler Mary Ormsby); footballer Di Alagich; Greg Quinn (son of Hall of Fame footballer Bob Quinn); Ironman Dwayne Thuys, commentator Bruce McAvaney and roller skater Tammy Bryant. Photo: delivered

He concluded his speech by highlighting the similarities between all Hall of Famers.

“Those that were recorded before us have one thing in common, I think: someone along the way inspired us,” he said.

“Whether it was your father, your mother, or (the Victorian racing driver and McAvaney’s childhood idol) Bill Collins, there was someone out there who inspired us.

“Our gift is this: there’s someone out there in South Australia who’s seen us play or heard us shouting and thinks, ‘I’d like to do that, I think I can do that’.”

Prior to this, the audience heard tributes to McAvaney from Channel 7 General Manager Andy Kay, Events SA Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed and Hall of Fame Cycling Coach Charlie Walsh, one of McAvaney’s childhood friends.

SANFL footballer Bob Quinn, lawn bowler Mary Ormsby, ironman Dwayne Thuys, skater Tammy Bryant and Matildas footballer Di Alagich were officially inducted into the SA Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.

Read InDaily’s Bruce McAvaney’s full profile here.

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