Sky Sports’ ‘voice of rugby’ Hemmings to retire

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Eddie Hemmings, the voice of rugby league for over four decades, is hanging up his microphone and leaving a post he has held at Sky since 1990 in April.

For a quarter of a century, Eddie and Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson were the sport’s definitive voices and best-loved characters, the satellite broadcast channel said. 

Together, they shaped the Super League era, working on two World Cups, countless Super League games and over fifteen years’ worth of Great Britain and home nations Internationals.

When Mike Stephenson retired, Hemmings built a new sound with Barrie McDermott and Terry O’Connor, the channel said adding that he will be greatly missed by them, along with the rest of the presentation team of Brian Carney, Phil Clarke and Jon Wells.


Voice of Rugby: Hemmings started with Sky in 1990

Honour and privilege

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work for Sky Sports for nearly 30 years”, Hemmings said. “When Stevo retired, I said I’d give it a couple more years without him, and with Terry O'Connor and Barrie McDermott alongside me the fun has never stopped.”

"There are far too many people to thank - but I'd just like to single out our Head of Rugby League Neville Smith and the most brilliant of researchers Ian Proctor, who have made my job so easy.”

"Also, to the Super League coaches, who have trusted me and shared information with me - a huge debt of gratitude to all of them.”

"I'll miss it, there's no doubt about that - but now I will have more time for my wife and family. My wife Carole and I have many adventures planned - to coin a phrase from Super League itself, it's a whole new era for us and new beginnings.”

Straight talker

Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis paid tribute to Eddie’s service saying: "What Eddie has done for rugby league over four decades is truly exceptional. He’s helped tell the incredible story of a sport that has been transformed in front of his eyes, relayed with eloquence and charm through his microphone to the viewers. 

“His charismatic, witty and straight-talking commentary will be greatly missed by all, but he leaves behind a legacy and many fond memories. Thanks for everything Eddie.”

The Head of Sky Sports Rugby League, Neville Smith paid tribute to his “friend”.

“For thirty years Eddie has been my colleague, my friend, my confidante, my family. At all times we have trusted each other’s instincts and relied on each other’s guidance through many a tricky on-air moment and shared the pure joys of broadcasting the sport we love. I hope his retirement brings him and Carole plenty of fun and happiness, and I know our families will stay the very best of friends. Ed, Good Luck Old Boy. It’s been a blast!”

Eddie’s farewell game for Sky Sports will be the famous Good Friday derby between Wigan and St. Helens on 19 April.

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