The success of the 1905 All Blacks rugby tour of Britain established the importance of the game in the eyes of many New Zealanders, and by the 1920s it had become a major spectator sport. The high point of public interest came in the 1950s when crowds of up to 50,000 people attended the games. Thousands listened to the famous radio commentator, Winston McCarthy, whose trademark phrase ‘Listen, listen … it’s a goal’ became legendary, as this advertisement for the New Zealand Listener in 1958 suggests. This broadcast is from a match in 1953 in which Wellington defeated Otago 9–3 in their challenge for the Ranfurly Shield, the premier domestic rugby trophy at the time.
Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Spectrum 803 - Stone walls do not a prison make/Reference number CDR130)
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Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.