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Legendary commentator Charlton dies

TONY Charlton, for half a century the cherished voice of Australian sports broadcasting, has died. He was 83.

Charlton, who had battled bowel cancer, was admitted to Cabrini Hospital late last week and passed away early on Monday.

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His broadcasting career began on radio 3AW in 1952. He moved to Channel Nine where he covered the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, then Channel Seven where he called the first televised VFL match the following year, before returning to Nine and later the ABC.

Charlton was also promoter and tournament director of the Australian Open, the PGA Championship and the Victorian Open golf tournaments from 1970-83, was awarded an OAM in 1990, an AM in 2003, and the Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee in 2008. His CV includes TV coverage of three Olympics and two Commonwealth Games.

The Melbourne Cricket Club was on Monday mourning the passing of a man described by a club spokesman as a much-loved man who a club spokesman on Monday described as "a wonderful person, a true gentleman".

For more than 20 years Charlton was a commanding presence behind the microphone, charming MCC members and guests in his role as MC at hundreds of club functions and events, notably the annual members’ dinner and Bradman Luncheon, which he was instrumental in establishing.