I've just learned of the passing this morning of one of my real heroes. The voice of Frank Hyde calling the rugby league on Saturday and Sunday afternoons was an integral part of my life for about two decades. His career as a broadcaster stretched back far before that, and even earlier came his playing career with Newtown, North Sydney and Balmain. Everyone loved him, he was such a charming man.
I had the privilege of being present at one of his last public appearances, at Henson Park on 8 May 2004, when he was special guest as Newtown played North Sydney for the trophy named in his honour. (I wrote an account of the occasion at the end of that season.)
Frank's death is bound to overshadow next Sunday's Melbourne v Manly grand final. He was one of the last links to an era when the game was so much less sophisticated, yet so much more enjoyable.
Update: Read Ray Chesterton's obit of Frank Hyde in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph.