Ray Warren : biography
Ray "Rabbits" Warren (born 11 June 1943) in Junee, New South Wales is an Australian sports commentator, most famous for his coverage of televised professional rugby league matches on the Nine Network. On occasion he is referred to as "The Voice of Rugby League". Ray also used to call Australian swimming team events and the FINA World Championships until Nine lost the rights to these events in 2008 and has recently participated in Nine’s coverage of the London Olympics. On Saturday mornings, he is a member of the panel on Triple M Sydney’s radio Saturday morning sports program Dead Set Legends. Warren also writes columns for sports website . Ray’s nickname is "Rabbits", as in a rabbit’s warren.
Ray Warren lives in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill with his wife, Cher, and daughter, Holly. Ray’s first son, Chris Warren, was a rugby league presenter for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and was a producer for the now defunct Setanta Sports NRL coverage in Europe. Ray is also the brother of lesser known commentator Reg Warren, whom commentated for district NRL games in the late ’90’s. Ray was once the chief commentator in a match that Chris participated in while he was a player for the Western Suburbs Magpies in the early 1990s.
During a radio interview with The Kyle & Jackie O Show in May 2011, Warren revealed that he was a close friend of broadcaster Ray Hadley and that the two regularly played golf together.
During an appearance on Triple M’s "Dead Set Legends" in June 2011, Warren revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
As a youngster Ray Warren was amazed by the ability of race-caller Ken Howard to paint the perfect picture of the race track. As a child, Ray used to roll marbles down a wooden slope and call them as horses. He initially followed in the footsteps of his brother by joining the police force. It was during his brief stint in uniform he got a phone call as a result of all the door-knocking he had done at various radio stations as a teenager. Ray took the job offered to him at 2LF Young, New South Wales as a sales representative, trotting commentator and rugby league commentator – a move which started his career in broadcasting.
He began commentating on the Amco Cup on Channel Ten with Keith Barnes in the 1970s. In 1980, Ten approached Warren to call the Melbourne Cup, the first of three Cups he would call for the network.Webster, Andrew "", Inside Sport magazine, April 2004 He also became Network Ten’s chief Rugby League caller from 1983 – 1986. In 1984 he was to head up Ten’s commentary for the Los Angeles Olympics but refused to take the mission. As a nervous flyer, Warren had grave reservations about the trans-Pacific haul and suddenly realised he could not get onto the plane. In 1986, Warren was fired by the network, primarily because it wanted to replace him as its chief rugby league commentator with former international player Rex Mossop. (Subsequently Warren spent a couple of years as Mossop’s Co-commentator, however Mossop allowed him little input).
Over the next six years, Warren would also travel many miles to call horse races. In 1989 he was recruited by the Nine Network to commentate on the state of origin series alongside Darrell Eastlake and to be part of its team to broadcast swimming at the 1990 Commonwealth Games with Norman May. The television rights for rugby league were bought by Nine for the 1992 season and onwards and he has been calling the game for them ever since. Warren has overcome his fear of flying, and has travelled to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Yokohama, Fukuoka and Montreal for the network’s swimming coverage.
Ray Warren is known for his passionate commentary, and has often been parodied by The Twelfth Man. His voice has become synonymous with important rugby league matches in Australia, and he is renowned for his proficient ability to take over from fellow-commentators when anything interesting happens on the field.
Currently, Warren also works on Sydney radio station 2MMM on the Saturday morning sports show Dead Set Legends with Richard Freedman and Dan Ginnane, as well being a semi-regular host of ‘The Rush Hour’ with Dan Ginnane.
Currently, Warren also works on Newcastle radio station NXFM on the Steve and Kim (& Damo!) Morning Breakfast Talk Show, giving footy tips for the week. . He is also a contributor on Melbourne’s Sport 927.
On 6 August 2011, a bronze statue was established in his hometown of Junee.