Broadcaster and Rugby League commentator, Billy J. Smith was today inducted into the Suncorp Stadium Media Hall of Fame.
Mr. Smith passed away earlier this year, but was represented at today’s induction by his son, Joel Smith and family.
Billy J. Smith’s career as both a radio announcer and Rugby League commentator spanned five decades. He began work as an announcer in Longreach and Mt. Isa and was part of 4IP becoming Brisbane’s number 1 station in the 1970’s.
His association with commentating Rugby League at this ground began when 4IP won the broadcast rights and continued when he joined Channel 7, calling the very first State of Origin game in 1980 and then the Brisbane Broncos during the early years.
He also hosted Channel 7’s Sportscene programme for five years. At the time of his passing, Billy was Brisbane’s undisputed number 1 corporate Master of Ceremonies.
Speaking at the induction, Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni paid tribute to Mr Smith’s positive impact on the Queensland sporting community in his years behind the microphone for both radio and television.
“With a career spanning five decades, Billy J Smith was one of the true voices of Queensland sport, and as a media icon, his inclusion on the Suncorp Stadium Wall of Fame is one of the best ways to ensure his legacy is remembered,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Having called the first State of Origin in 1980 and then the Brisbane Broncos during the early years, Billy made an enormous contribution to the success of rugby league in this state and no doubt attracted a whole legion of new fans to the game.
“This is the sort of passion for sport that Queenslanders are renowned for, and the kind of enthusiasm that gets kids turning up for practice and matches week after week," Mr. de Brenni said.