The radio community in Wellington is in shock this morning at the sudden death of long-time sports broadcaster Graeme Moody; the Dom-Post reports:
Veteran radio broadcaster Graeme Moody has died in a surfing accident in Australia a day before he was due to fly home.
The Wellington-based sports reporter drowned while surfing off the far north coast of New South Wales about 2.45pm NZT yesterday.
Other surfers saw he was in trouble and brought him ashore unconscious.
Paramedics tried to revive him but he died at Angourie Beach, near Yamba.
His distinctive voice would be sorely missed by loyal listeners throughout the country, friend and fellow sports broadcaster Bryan Waddle told The Dominion Post last night.
"It's a massive shock because it just came out of the blue and he was happy doing something that he really loved. Every year he went to Australia for a holiday with his wife Bev."
We're surprised to learn that "Moodz" was 60; he's been around a while, but there was always a youthful enthusiam in his commentries. And he's covered the whole gambit; read on:
Moody was a sports reporter and commentator on NewsTalk ZB for 35 years covering major event including the Olympic Games, rugby world cups, Commonwealth Games and America's Cup yachting.
He spent the 1990s commentating and travelling with the All Blacks but got sick of being away from home, he told the Wellingtonian newspaper last year.
"The touring life is a real limbo-land, airports, hotels, training, matches. It's quite a lonely existence," he said.
He relayed the devastating 1995 Rugby World Cup final from Ellis Park, which saw the All Blacks beaten by South Africa.
"It was a totally draining, almost surreal experience."
And he will leave a big hole in the studios of Newstalk ZB in Wellington:
The Wellington College old-boy celebrated his 60th birthday last week.
"He biked to work every day. He looked like a 40-year-old.", Newstalk ZB Wellington operations manager Jason Pine said.
He described "Moodz" as an unassuming and humble bloke who was well liked and respected in all facets of his life.
"He had three loves his wife Bev, surfing and rugby. It just won't be the same without him. He was just so universally loved. He's just synonymous with rugby in particular."
He was lined up to cover the upcoming Rugby World Cup tournament.
"He just had an ability to paint a picture for an audience. He was able to bring excitment into things at the right time. He was just an absolute shining light in our office and is someone who will be missed terribly."
Graeme Moody was an avid surfer, and there's a bitter irony in him dying doing something he loved so much. To his wife Bev, and to his colleagues in the Newstalk ZB Wellington studios; our thoughts, prayers and aroha are with you. Rugby matches out of Wellington just won't sound the same. Rest peacefully Moodz.