New Zealand paid a special tribute to Diego Maradona when captain Sam Cane laid an All Black jersey – number 10 – on the field before the start of their Tri Nations Test against Argentina.
As the All Blacks lined up to perform the haka, Cane stepped out, walked toward midfield and laid down the jersey – with Maradona’s name and number on it – as Argentine players stood arm-in-arm and watched.
“It was a gesture, a token, of paying our respects to an Argentine legend, a world legend in his field as well,” Cane said after the match, which New Zealand won 38-0.
Maradona died on Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60 in a house outside Buenos Aires. The soccer great had been recovering from a brain operation.
The idea for the tribute came from All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara, Cane said.
“Rugby is a game first and foremost that is built on respect I believe, and it was the respectful and right thing to do,” Cane said.
Several Argentine players nodded in appreciation of the gesture.
“I didn’t know (about the tribute) until I did the coin toss with Sam Cane and he told me about it,” Pumas flanker Pablo Matera said.
“I’m really thankful for that. Diego Maradona was obviously huge for Argentina, so I’m really thankful for that gesture from the All Blacks.”
Matera said that Maradona’s passing had been a source of inspiration for many of the squad.
“Maradona was a guy who represented our country the best way you could represent us as a sportsman,” Matera said.
“He’s been a huge inspiration for all of us: players, coaches, the people of Argentina.
“So we always have him in our thoughts and we just want to represent our country the way he did.”
The death of football legend Diego Maradona stunned not only Argentina but the entire world when the 60-year-old died of a heart attack earlier in the week.
And the All Blacks have shown their reverence with a heartfelt tribute before the Tri-Nations clash with Argentina in Newcastle.
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After Argentina won the last start at Bankwest Stadium a fortnight ago, the first time the Pumas had defeated the All Blacks, New Zealand were staring down the possibility of three straight losses for the first time since 1998.
But Maradona’s death on Thursday rocked the world.
Following the national anthem, which the Pumas and their fans belted out, the All Blacks got in position to do the traditional haka.
But first, Kiwis skipper Sam Cane presented a signed All Blacks jersey with the No. 10 on the back was presented in the memory of Maradona.
“A great sign of respect here from Sam Cane and the All Blacks,” New Zealand legend Andrew Mehrtens said in Fox Sports commentary.
The All Blacks then performed the haka.
The Pumas were also wearing a black arm bands in memory of Maradona.
Fans were quick to praise the All Blacks for the gesture towards the Argentinian legend.
Great to see the @AllBlacks brothers show respect to the sporting legend that was Maradona ❤️✊🏽🏉
The Australian and Indian players will wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence to pay tribute to cricket legend Dean Jones before the international summer starts at the SCG on Friday.
A video tribute to Jones, who tragically and suddenly passed away in September, aged just 59, will also be played as the cricket world pauses to remember one of Australia’s greatest players.
It comes amid planning for a secondary tribute to Jones at his beloved MCG during the Boxing Day Test, with a crowd of up to 40,000 expected to be in attendance.
A whole bay of seats will be covered in a banner for the entire Test, which will recognise the Victorian great’s contribution to the game.
With his family to be present in Melbourne, the Boxing Day ceremony will include the reading of a poem about Jones written by his great friend, Chris Driscoll.
The poem includes the lines; “Hold Him tenderly, O’Mother India, For he was Our favourite son, Place gently the zinc white ash on his resting forehead, Anoint him in Linseed oil, Place old willow by his side, We wait for him, for his return.”
During the tea break on the opening day, there will be a video tribute at 3.24pm, recognising Jones’ Test number, 324.
That number was also his highest first-class score, scored against South Australia on the MCG in 1994-95.
A private family funeral for Jones last month, which only 10 people could attend because of COVID-19 restrictions, included a lap of honour at the MCG where he played six of his 52 Tests.
His wife, Jane, had hoped for a more public tribute, which will now happen at the Boxing Day Test.
A working party with members from the MCC, Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia are working through other elements to include in the MCG tribute.
Jones, inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame last year, played in 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals, revolutionising the 50-over format with his shot-making and superb fielding.
His epic 210 in the tied Test in Madras in 1986 is also part of Australian cricket folklore.
After his death, tributes flowed from around the world for Jones, who was a player, coach and commentator beloved beyond Australia.
The death of Diego Maradona at 60 years old has left the world stunned, with an incredible outpouring of grief from past and present players as well as fans across the globe pouring in.
A true global superstar on the pitch, Maradona is arguably as one of the greatest players ever to play the world game.
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Former England star turned commentator Gary Lineker delivered a heartfelt tribute to the legend, including one unheard of tale, which has gone viral.
Over 4.7m people have seen the tribute, at the time of writing, with Lineker blown away by Maradona’s passion and skill in the game.
While the rest of the world mourned, Boca Juniors, the club he won his only Argentinian league title with, illuminated his box at La Bombonera in a stunning tribute.
The stadium holds plenty of Maradona stories, including one when Lineker remembered his unrivalled passion, when he thought the football legend was about to fall out of the box.
“He‘s so revered, he’s so worshipped in Argentina,” Lineker said on BT Sport. “He constantly had a huge entourage around him.
“I went to see Boca Juniors play. He had his own little box. I went with his family. The atmosphere was unbelievable at this game.
“One of his daughters was literally holding him as he was screaming over the balcony, holding him so he wouldn‘t fall off. He had such an incredible passion for the game.”
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Lineker went on to say he never thought he would see anyone come close to Maradona, although conceded Lionel Messi isn’t too far off, but he said Maradona was something else.
Reliving a time he played with Maradona in a Rest of the World side during an exhibition game, Lineker delivered a tale on a moment that left even the best players in the world in awe of the Argentinian legend.
“There were players like Platini on the pitch. Everyone was totally in awe of (Maradona),” said Lineker.
“The first thing he did was in the dressing room, he sat there; just a pair of shorts. And you know you roll your socks up? He did that and just juggled them on his left foot for about five minutes.
“Then we went out on the pitch and he did something incredible, one of the most unbelievable things I‘ve ever seen on a football pitch.
“He juggled the ball all the way out to the centre circle and then bang, he whacked it as hard he possibly could (up into the air) and waited. It came down and he did it again. He did it 13 times. The most he ever did was walk three paces to it.
“All of us were standing there going, ‘That’s impossible’. I remember going to training the next day at Barcelona. We all tried it and the best anyone did was three, and they were all running for the third one.
“I‘ve never seen anyone have such a beautiful affection for a football.”
Maradona’s legend was made at the 1986 World Cup Finals when he put Argentina on his back as the nation won its second title.
While most people want to remember the “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarterfinal, the other goal of Argentina’s 2-1 victory saw Maradona cut through the English defence and slotted a freakish goal that was named the goal of the century.
Lineker, who played for England that day, revealed just how special that moment was.
“You‘ve got to realise that the pitch at the Azteca was awful,” said Lineker.
“It had been relaid. Every time you put your foot on a piece of turf, it just disappeared under your foot.
“To do what he did, that little pivot and turn on the halfway line and then to go past the players like they weren‘t there was just the most remarkable thing.
“It was the closest in my life that I‘ve ever felt like I ought to applaud someone else scoring a goal. Obviously, I didn’t because you’d get destroyed back home.
“He was head and shoulders the best player of my generation.”
Social media was in awe of the tribute.
Lineker also posted a video catching up with Maradona, and vision of his warm up, the one that left him awe-struck, as Maradona danced to music played over the PA shared by Piers Morgan.
Most Australians are fast asleep when Trevor Chappell begins his work day. By the time he’s done, it’s unlikely their alarm clocks have even buzzed.
ABC radio host Trevor Chappell has been presenting Overnights for 20 years
Chappell’s audience members come from all walks of life and are located around the country
The host says he strives to create radio that is inclusive
Chappell has spent the past 20 years living a semi-nocturnal life and, around the country, thousands of night owls join him while listening to Overnights from 2:00am to 6:00am AEDT on ABC local radio.
There are countless reasons why listeners tune in to AM radio in the middle of the night and join Chappell — who is not to be confused with his famous cricketer namesake, who’s most likely fast asleep when the radio program reaches its devoted audience.
Some listeners are working, hauling huge trucks across the country, or doing night jobs. Others are battling crippling physical pain that makes even a few consecutive hours of shut-eye impossible.
There are people disturbed by their own mental demons. And some, quite simply, just cannot fall asleep.
“Also, we do programming that isn’t going to create more worries for people.”
A look back at the program’s past week conveys Chappell’s point. Topics covered include gardening, history, skin health, television and manufacturing.
There was a lengthy chat about how to pick an Australian ham from a foreign import when preparing for Christmas lunch. Recently there was a wildly popular call-out for people to share stories of when they were featured in a local newspaper.
Of course, there is a key staple of all overnight radio programs — quizzes.
Chappell presents the program from Monday to Thursday from Melbourne, while Rod Quinn does the other three days from Sydney.
Creating a ‘community’, not a ‘family’
Djarrah King, a regular talkback caller to Overnights, says he has “an opinion about most things”.
In a past life, Djarrah spent 25 years in the defence force, serving tours in Somalia, Iraq, Timor and the Solomon Islands. He recovered from being shot and suffering a broken neck.
These days, Djarrah enjoys the peace of his current job, driving truckloads of pre-packed supermarket salads overnight between Nhill, in western Victoria, and Melbourne.
“It gives you that solitude. You’re not surrounded by a lot of people, which is good,” he says.
Djarrah says there’s a special bond between the program’s host and regular callers like him. Over the years, they have grown to know each other.
It’s a safe space where everyone gets a chance to have their say. And when someone who is struggling rings in, others will offer messages of support.
“It’s a real good community,” he says.
Chappell likes this word — community — when it comes to describing his show.
“I’ve always thought that the program is a bit like a dinner party, in that you can sit around with a group of 12 others and you can be talking to somebody. You can be part of the conversation without joining in, so you can still be part of the group by listening.”
‘Without them, there is no program’
The sense of community prompted listeners to create an unofficial fan page for Chappell and Quinn, where they critique the show and its guests. The page has more than 8,000 followers, and declares in its ‘About’ section: “When Trevor is on — it’s the best four days any week could ever have.”
Audience members say they are drawn to Chappell’s warmth and willingness to not take himself too seriously.
Long-time listener, Carolyn Meier, says his personality makes him perfect for the job.
“He’s compassionate and understanding. Trevor has a very kind and gentle manner,” she says.
Sam Somerville, who has tuned in for 18 years, puts it succinctly.
Chappell describes his audience just as fondly, using terms like “kind” and “generous”. But, much like a dinner party, he concedes the odd “arsehole” does show up. Such is the nature of live radio.
Chappell, who came to broadcasting after stints in mining, construction and social work, said he was taught early in his radio career to value relationships with the audience.
The intimate nature of the show puts Chappell in an unusual position. He has chatted with some audience members for years, but seldom meets them in person.
To Chappell, they aren’t exactly “friends” in the traditional sense, but at the same time he views them as more than just acquaintances.
“The best way I can describe it is that it’s like a colleague that you get along really well with. Without them and their input, there is no program,” he says.
“Just recently Barry from Mount Isa passed away. He was a lovely fellow who was very open and very generous. You develop a relationship with people and you miss them when they’re gone.”
Barry from Mount Isa was Barry Byrne, a prolific talkback caller, monarchist, and same-sex marriage advocate who came out as gay on the radio a few years ago.
Online death notices were filled with tributes from ABC listeners around the country who loved hearing the 52-year-old’s trademark sign-off, which would begin with: “I’ll bid you and everyone at the ABC a good night.”
Two naps a day, and no coffee
After two decades, Chappell says he still loves the job and its unusual hours. He rarely drinks coffee to stay awake, and prefers water instead.
On work days he heads home straight after his show and naps until midday, and then tries to do some exercise and run the day’s errands. He has another quick kip and then heads into the office.
Only once in 20 years has he ever dozed off while on-air. In a classic live-radio moment, he was abruptly woken when the person he was interviewing over the phone stopped talking and said, “Hello?”.
Chappell says he is thankful for the support of his show’s producers and his partner, Cathy.
“When I first started doing it, I made a decision that this is what I was going to do. I was going to make a commitment to doing overnight radio,” Chappell says.
He was transported by ambulance to nearby Northern Beaches Hospital, before being transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he died a short time later.
A Sea Eagles spokesperson said the club was unable to comment further on the circumstances surrounding Titmuss’s death, but said more details would be known later in the week.
NSW Police issued a statement saying inquiries into the circumstances of Titmuss’s death were under investigation and a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Jesse Titmuss paid tribute to his younger brother on Facebook this morning, saying the 20-year-old was fulfilling his dreams as a professional rugby league player.
“My rock, my best friend, you were always by [my] side through thick and thin. I miss you so much lil bro,” Jesse Titmuss wrote.
“Keith passed on doing what he loved, living out his dream and there is no doubt about that.
“The hardest working individual I knew, with a mindset like no other. That never give up mentality took him to where he was. I was so proud to call Keith my lil bro and if anyone knows me, Keith was all I would talk about.
“Keith, a man of very few words was loved by many and had so many close friends who were all by his side. His friends and family were the most important and influential people in his life and every bit of advice he was given he would take it all in.
Jesse Titmuss described the emotional pain the family was going through following his brother’s death.
“We love you Keithy! You are so heavy on my heart right now and I will forever carry you by my side,” he wrote.
“I will take care of Mum, Dad and Zara for you bro, we are all hurting so much.
“Take care lil bro and rest easy.”
Keith Titmuss, a prop forward, was regarded as a rising star at the Sea Eagles, with the club saying he was a “very promising” prospect.
He was tipped to make his NRL debut in the 2021 season after being included in the Sea Eagles’ full-time 30-player squad.
Jesse Titmuss said his brother was “looking forward to what would have been his breakthrough season”.
“We were just talking about it a couple of days ago about how well prepared he was physically and mentally for pre season,” he wrote.
“All of us as a family were optimistic that Keith was to make his NRL debut in 2021. Keith’s memories and legacy will live on forever.”
Titmuss was a Sea Eagles junior and scored the match-winning try in the club’s under-20s grand final victory in 2017 as a 17-year-old.
“His ‘Swan Dive’ Grand Final game-winning try was a highlight that brings a bright smile and laugh to everyone!” Jesse Titmuss wrote.
Titmuss fondly remembered
The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) passed on its condolences to the Titmuss family and their friends.
“On behalf of the RLPA and the entire playing group, we pass on our sincerest condolences to Keith’s family and friends,” RLPA chief executive Clint Newton said in a statement.
“Our team will work with the NRL and Manly Warringah Club to ensure the appropriate support and counselling is available to Keith’s family, the playing group and their respective families.”
The Titmuss brothers attended Westfields Sports High School in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield West.
Keith Titmuss finished his HSC just two years ago and was part of the selective schools’ rugby league program.
Westfields Sports High paid tribute to its former student, saying “he epitomised all that a student of Westfields Sports should strive for”.
“A finer young man has never walked the grounds of this school,” a school statement read.
“He will hold a place in the heart of all who knew him and will be greatly missed.”
Titmuss also played for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the NSWRL.
The club expressed its sympathy to the Titmuss family.
“The Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles is saddened to hear about the passing of player Keith Titmuss,” the club wrote in its Facebook page.
“Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.”
When Rod Toovey first heard music legend Elvis Presley sing, he was mesmerised.
Beaconsfield’s Rod Toovey has been an Elvis tribute artist for more than a decade
He got into Elvis after stealing a gold record from his older brother
Performing has taken him around the world, singing in Memphis was a career highlight
“I got into Elvis when I was a young fellow, my brother bought home a gold record of Elvis, I’ll never forget it,” he said.
“He was the best thing since sliced bread!”
Paying homage to the “King of Rock,” Elvis Presley, is now Toovey’s full-time job, after previously installing garage doors.
“After all these years of doing other things through life, I’ve ended up doing the thing I love,” he said.
Living a double life
People who see Toovey walking down the street in the small Tasmanian town of Beaconsfield wouldn’t suspect that his long dark sideburns and shiny black shoes are part of his Elvis look.
“I don’t get dressed up and walk around (in costume) in Beaconsfield, I think I’d get something thrown at me,” he said laughing.
“I started getting into singing Elvis properly when I was about 48 and decided I’d start up professionally around 50 and I’ve been doing it for about 12 years so you can guess how old I am.”
Toovey considers himself a tribute artist, not an Elvis impersonator.
“I like to be called, and I think most of the guys who are professional at it like to be known, as an Elvis tribute artist rather than an Elvis impersonator,” he said.
“Some guys do do the impersonation that’s the talking like Elvis — I’m an Australian so I’m never going to be an American. I try and deliver the songs the same way Elvis delivered them and in the same voice and the same range.
“I think that’s the difference between a tribute artist and an impersonator, you’re playing a tribute to a guy that was just one of the best entertainers ever.”
“Elvis to me, he was an exceptional human being, I think just far ahead of his time, he wasn’t accepted at the time, my dad didn’t like him … but most of the women liked him!”
Performing in Memphis
Despite not owning blue suede shoes, Toovey said Elvis was always on his mind, and his passion had taken him around the world singing and performing.
“It was at the Crown Plaza Hotel and we had Americans in the audience and Canadians … and I ended up getting a standing ovation from the Americans … they said, ‘Wow you can sing, boy, how can you Australian do that?'” Toovey said while laughing.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi and died at age 42 in 1977 from a heart attack.
“We went into the little house that his dad actually built where he was born, very poor area, but the tourism from Elvis is great for the area,” Toovey said.
“I think that’s where he saw the African-American side of the blues and that’s where he got his roots from, singing in church, gospel music, which I like doing too, that’s where he basically started.”
Rock magazine Rolling Stone names some of his best-known songs as Suspicious Minds, Jailhouse Rock and If I Can Dream.
He remains one of the best-selling solo artists with more than 1 billion records sold worldwide.
Moving to Tasmania
Toovey and his wife Trish first came to Tasmania to perform in a show at the St Helens RSL more than a decade ago.
“We got booked and we thought, ‘Oh well, let’s come down to Tassie, get paid to go down there, what a great thing,’ and we spent six days down here and met some really nice people … and it built up from there and we ended up doing about 18 or 19 shows every summer for 10 years.”
“We loved it down here, we loved the people in Tassie, we loved the climate and the laid-back lifestyle.”
The pair also run an Airbnb in Beaconsfield.
“We work very well together, we did everything here together and we’re still doing it together which is great … she backs me in everything.”
“Making people happy is the thing now, I think if you’ve got a job and you can make people happy at the same time while doing it, you’re not really working.”
“I love it, I like doing it and I like getting the reaction I get from people … and when I can’t do it properly anymore I’ll give it a miss, so still going alright for now.”
While the Melbourne Cup is an event of excitement and joy for the nation, it is also a day for reflection in the racing community.
Tuesday marks five years since Queensland rider and Melbourne Cup day hopeful Tim Bell died in a non-racing incident in Singapore at just 22 years old.
He was in Singapore at the time as part of a three-month riding contract and died on Melbourne Cup day.
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Bell won the Brisbane Jockeys’ premiership in his first season as a senior jockey in 2013-14 while his career highlight was his victory at his first Group 1 while riding Tinto in the 2014 Queensland Oaks.
His three-month riding contract in Singapore was just the latest step at the time in his aspiration to be one of the best jockeys in the world and eventually make it to Melbourne Cup day.
He first rode a winner at 15 years old at Inverell before achieving a career-first double five weeks later at Tamworth.
Bell’s mother Keiley took to Facebook to write a tribute to her son, which she gave Racenet permission to use.
“It will be five years ago today on Melbourne Cup day, the one day you wanted to be special when your goal was to ride a winner sweetheart, since I received that dreaded knock on the door – something I will never ever forget, my life has been incomplete,” she wrote.
“I miss you more than anything, what I would do to have you back and see that beautiful face.
“Child loss is not an event, it’s an indescribable journey of survival.
“The hardest part of losing a child is living every day afterwards – no one will ever understand the pain and heartache of child loss unless you have lost a child, pain is etched in every part of our lives – every hour, minute, second of every day.”
The bay stallion is the second horse in three years to die because of an injury sustained in the Melbourne Cup after Cliffs of Moher was euthanised in 2018. Both horses were trained by the same trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
“He was a very kind, sound, lovely-natured horse – incredibly tough and genuine,” O’Brien said after Tuesday’s race.
“It was very sad to see that happen, it was just very unfortunate. He was a good Derby winner who we’ll have fond memories of.”
Anthony Van Dyck’s jockey Hugh Bowman was uninjured in the incident.
The Victorian Racing Club released a statement offering its condolences to Anthony Van Dyck’s connections.
“We would like to thank the track and veterinary staff for their prompt and humane care of the horse,” the VRC said.
“The club remains totally committed to the welfare of all equine athletes and the ongoing focus on their wellbeing and will continue to work with the industry to understand the cause of this incident.”