Story: Sports and leisure

Commentary by Winston McCarthy (2nd of 3)

The success of the 1905 All Blacks rugby tour of Britain established the importance of the game in the eyes of many New Zealanders, and by the 1920s it had become a major spectator sport. The high point of public interest came in the 1950s when crowds of up to 50,000 people attended the games. Thousands listened to the famous radio commentator, Winston McCarthy, whose trademark phrase ‘Listen, listen … it’s a goal’ became legendary, as this advertisement for the New Zealand Listener in 1958 suggests. This broadcast is from a match in 1953 in which Wellington defeated Otago 9–3 in their challenge for the Ranfurly Shield, the premier domestic rugby trophy at the time.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Spectrum 803 - Stone walls do not a prison make/Reference number CDR130)

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-C-RUGBY-1958-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Sports and leisure - Organised sports', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, updated 1 Sep 2015