Andrew Voss has called some of rugby league’s biggest moments in an illustrious career spanning 33 years, but there is one missing from his resume.
“I’ve never called a first-grade grand final before,” Voss said.
“Not on radio or television. I’ve done lower-grade grand finals, but in the NRL I’ve always sat on the sideline.”
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This will change on Sunday when Voss turns back the clock to recall the classic 1997 ARL grand final between Newcastle and Manly for Fox League.
He is equally excited and daunted about the improbable challenge of trying to emulate one of Ray Warren’s finest calls.
Andrew Voss is gearing up for his “first ever” grand final call.Source:FOX SPORTS
“I will be getting up on Sunday morning feeling nervous,” Voss told The Sunday Telegraph.
“Ray’s commentary of Darren Albert’s try in ’97 is embedded in everyone’s brain.
“We’ve all watched and heard it a million times, so how do you actually do it better?
“Well, I’m not going to try and do it better.
“Rabs’ call is an iconic moment. It is a Norman May, ‘gold, gold, gold moment’, but for those who just want to sit back and have that escape in the time tunnel, then I’ll give it my best shot.”
On the plus side, Voss was at the ’97 decider working for Channel 9 on the sideline.
He has fond memories of Newcastle’s remarkable fightback after trailing at halftime, and the chaotic celebrations that followed.
“I remember the number of Knights players that ran onto the field before the final conversion was kicked,” he said.
“It was just pandemonium at fulltime. That is why no one remembers the shot at goal.”
Captain Paul Harragon (L) hugs Andrew Johns after Newcastle defeated Manly in 1997 ARL grand final.Source:News Corp Australia
Voss also has vivid recollections of Newcastle centre Adam MacDougall’s stray boot coming in contact with the face of Manly skipper Geoff Toovey.
“Toovey came to the sideline after the MacDougall incident was a hell of a grand final moment,” he said.
“When I first saw that it looked like Geoff had lost his eye. That was absolute grand final drama.”
In the end, the Toovey versus MacDougall moment of madness was lost in a haze of red and blue celebrations as the Knights charged home to claim the premiership on the buzzer.
Big names like the Johns brothers and Paul Harragon celebrated hard, but Voss also remembers Newcastle’s lesser known players soaking up the win.
“It is people like Steve Crowe,” he said.
“He only got on for a few minutes in the grand final, but he is a premiership winner.
“Then there was Scott Conley, Troy Fletcher and Bill Peden, who was in his second game as a starter.
“There were a few battlers and local juniors who won grand finals that day.
“It was just typical Newcastle — it was just fantastic.”
Newcastle v Manly, 1997 grand final, Sunday 3pm, on Fox League.
Originally published asVossy finally reaches major career milestone
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