Crio’s Q: Name a catch-cry

Subbies have latched on to “Fair dinkum, Unbelievable” at any opportunity during a week of memorials to the great Bob Davis.

It’s his catch-cry.

Essendon’s black armbands on Saturday night were to commemorate the passing of dual Premiership player Wally May

(ref ).

After his retirement, Wally spent years as the special comments guru on SANFL footy for NWS9. Chief caller, Ian Aitken, would bark, “Comment Wally May?”. Often the retort was “No comment!”. Its embedded in my childhood’s memory and is, to me, the catch-cry for them both.

It is an apt week to recall the phrases that have become associated with a particular person.


  1. “If you don’t mind umpire” – Jack Dyer

  2. John Butler says

    “I tipped this” – Mike Williamson

  3. Rick Kane says

    That’s what I’m talking about – Crawf

  4. “Can you hear me Harry?” – Tom Lahiff

  5. Alovesupreme says

    John Kennedy, Hawthorn coach, was once burned by a journalist. In the era before detailed post-match press conferences, all that was published was a sentence or two of the coaches’ comments. Kanga claimed that he’d been misrepresented, so his subsequent contribution to that item in the newspaper was “no comment”, so he was obviously inspired by Wally May. On one occasion when a disputed umpiring decision late in a game had cost the Hawks the points, Kennedy expaned his offering to “absolutely no comment”.

  6. W. M. Lawry (“He’s a Victorian”)
    “It’s all happening here..”

  7. Peter Flynn says

    Kenneth Wolstenholme

    “They think it’s all over… it is now”.

  8. Flynnie – Have you got some of Whispering Ted’s or Brian Johnson’s for us?

  9. “Think about that”….Guru Bob

  10. Adam Muyt says

    In the spirit of Origin week, I thought it timely to contribute this rugby league piece from Frank Hyde, doyen of Sydney rugby league broadcasts from the 50s through to the 90s:

    “It’s high enough…it’s long enough…it’s straight between the posts!”

    I heard it so many times…..

  11. Adam Muyt says

    Oh yes, Frank’s ‘autobiography’ – yes, there was a ghost involved – was titled ‘Straight between the Posts’

  12. The witch doctor on Krakatoa. “What’s that rumbling noise, and the strong odour my dear? I thought your cousin looked too rich in the pot last night”

  13. Richie (He’s usually a good puller – but he couldn’t get it up that time) Benaud is as noted for his silences as his utterances, but “Welcome back…”is a standard from over the years.

  14. I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.
    George Best

  15. 3KZ IS football.

  16. “Stacks on the mill” – Ivor Grundy

  17. General Custer ‘What indians?”

  18. John Butler says

    French Minister of War Maginot – “what do you mean they went around?”

  19. Crio,

    who was the commentator who named his best ever soccer player and George Best responded with ‘he obviously hasn’t seen me play’

  20. Ben Footner says

    Never heard Wally May call, but my old man used to use that saying when I was a kid. “Comment Wally May” everytime one of us said something that amused him. lol

  21. Yeah. Can’t recall Phantom. It was during one of those Pele or Maradona discussions.

  22. Ben, other than “Comment Wally May”, I think Ian Aitken’s other favourite catch-cry was “coming through like a Sherman Tank”. I recall as a kid wondering if he meant “German”!

  23. Ben Footner says

    Now you say it crio, I reckon my old man used that one too on occasion!

  24. Steve Fahey says

    ” Hit the boundary ” EJ Whitten

    “Jack Hill the blind miner would have seen that” Mike Williamson

    ” scores are dead level” Lou Richards

    “he’s done well, the boy” Slug Jordan

  25. Peter Flynn says

    G’day Steve,

    I love these sayings. The last 20 minutes yesterday was exhilarating. Enjoy.

    Remember, one more point each and scores will be level.

    “This is a ring-a-ding game.” Lou Richards

    “Peanuts, shillling a bag”. From the Princes Park Peanut Man who for a number of years was unaware of the advent of decimal currency.

    “We could be back here next week.” Mike Williamson handed down to anybody calling a close GF.

  26. johnharms says

    Well it’s good night from me…and it’s good night from him

  27. snowy from lonny says

    on the Mocopan scoreboard

  28. Phil Dimitriadis says

    The phrase that inspired a thousand impersonators: “Marvellous shot that”

  29. Ken Howard would bet “London to a brick”.

  30. Peter Flynn says

    J Styring has a hundred of them.

    So does S Waddell.

  31. …and they are all his. That’s what differentiates this from a “Kingston Town can’t win” type of utterance.
    A catch cry is used repeatedly and has a virtual copyright…I doubt Greg Miles could get away with “baring his molars to the breeze”. Other good sayings are generic.

  32. Flynny – that “one more point each” line was best done by the great Smokey Dawson. Another of his regulars, more often than not an instruction to co-commentator Peter “Smooth” Booth, was:


  33. Mick Jeffrey says

    From Rugby League, you may hear Phil “Gus” Gould say any of these on Wednesday’s State of Origin coverage…

    “Dear oh dear oh dear” (bad mistake)
    “NO NO NO NO NO” (doesn’t agree with a decision)
    “If they give this a try I’ll jump out the box” (Video referee after the 15th look at a put down that’s clearly a knock-on considers awarding a benefit of the doubt try)

    The one though that stands out is from Origin 1 1994, after Mark Coyne scored the miracle try that gave Queensland the win in Sydney, after the try was scored, his cry of “Queensland, it’s a miracle effort” was drowned out by Paul Vautin (maroons captain, coach, tragic) yelling out OOOOHHHHHH YEAAAH. Then came Rab’s immortal call of “That’s not a try that’s a miracle”. He also came up with the following to describe the all-in at the first scrum of Origin 2 in 1995 (It was later revealed that coach Vautin told his team that the first bloke to yell out QUEENSLANDER would get a punch in the face, 17 hands went up)….”Well they’ve come from everywhere like it was almost a rehersal.”

    From the world of the NBA, Marv Albert (who is calling the Eastern Conference finals) would come up with any of the following…..,

    “From Downtown” (three point shot)
    “The {insert team}, 89 and the {insert team} 85 with 32 and 5 tenths seconds……..remaining”

  34. Mick Jeffrey says

    But of course, then came the Murrayisms, courtesy of Murray Walker, the immortal f1 commentator….

    “With half the race gone there is exactly half the race to go”
    “Which unless I am very much mistaken”
    “GO GO GO”

    I could go on.

  35. Thanks Mick. I couldn’t turn in until Murray Walker had been identified. He owns those sayings.

  36. Alovesupreme says

    Tim Lane on ABC radio broadcasts: “we’ve got the close one”.

  37. “Its all nip and tuck” (Lou Richards)

  38. Germaine Greer in the early 1970’s. ‘I would rather have a good ……… than a bad …….!’

  39. At the Calgary Stampede in Canada they always start the competition with:

    “Ahhhhhhh let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!!”

  40. “I am The Greatest”

  41. Steve Fahey says

    Love all the contributions.

    Flynny, the Peanut Man was one of THE great characters of the game, being at Princes Park, Vic Park and Cramer Street Preston on Sunday home games for the Bullants. I was fascinated to read an obituary after his death detailing that he owned an adult book shop. As the KAOS crook in Get Smart once said, “the real money is in the Chinese laundry.” Peanuts must have been a passion or very lucrative !!

  42. Steve – “the real money is in the laundry” – was that The Craw or The Craw?

  43. Steve Fahey says

    I think you have it in one, Dips !!!!

  44. Peanut Man used to shout out ‘Shilling a bag'” and hurl the peanuts in your direction

  45. Dennis Cometti – “Stacks on the mill! It’s like a Melbourne tram – everyone’s jumping on and nothing’s being paid”

  46. from the offices of The Sunday Press in Melbourne…
    “keep on punching!”

  47. Mark Schwerdt says

    further to crio’s piece, the conversation often went like this

    Max Hall/Ian Aitken/Eldon Crouch/Ron Kitchen – “Comment Wally May ?”

    Wally May – “No comment”

    Max Hall – “Fair comment”

    And in another SA flashback, Ian ‘Daisy’ Day (after the SA/VIC State of Origin game where Sticks Kernahan kicked 10 goals in a four point loss from memory) – “what a ball-tearer !!”

  48. “We stuck it up ’em!” E.J.

  49. Dave Nadel says

    “They are in more trouble than the early explorers” – Peter Landy

    Apparently Landy used this footy catchphrase on several of seven Olympic broadcasts, which were on sold to various Asian countries who must have been bemused by the early explorers and WTF they had to with hockey.

  50. On a wet Melbourne Saturday afternoon, Peter Landy was also often heard to say “that ball is like a cake of soap out there”.

  51. Andrew Fithall says

    3KZ IS football


    Eight seven eight, double eight, double eight

    The second of those, the Radio Rentals phone number, I remember from the car radio on the trips home to Ballarat after another beautiful day in the environs of the welcoming Victoria Park.

  52. Phil Dimitriadis says

    That was funny Dave. I remember Landy once getting excited with Rene Kink: “That’s a magnificent shot for goal…but…just off line…and out of bounds on the full”

    The Asians weren’t the only ones bemused in the 70s/80s with some of Landy’s commentary.

  53. While touched on briefly, Billy Moore chant/yelling “QUEENSLANDER” with madness in his eyes, as he walked on to the ground after halftime was the first that sprung to my mind on this Origin eve…

    Go Queensland I say, (much more moderately).

  54. Mark,
    I reckon you were right – it was Max Hall. See Bernard Whimpress’ piece on Wally May on this site.

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