VALE BROADCASTER TIM FLYNN
Tim died in June 2002
ABC NewsRadio sports broadcaster Tim Flynn has died in hospital in Perth at the age of 54. For several years Tim had waged a valiant fight against cancer.
Tim’s career in radio began in Hobart but he was well known to audiences around the country. He had stints on commerical radio in Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney before joining ABC NewsRadio shortly after the station was launched in 1994.
TIM FLYNN:: 1947 2002
OBITUARY:: Bucketmouth, a ferocious fan of the footy
Timothy J. Flynn, as he often referred to himself, was a Falstaffian presence, a big, generous man with a magnificent, resonant voice and a ferocious appetite for football, food and friendship. Possessed of wonderful humour, Tim relished the chance to relate tales at his own expense. Some might have resented the sobriquet “Bucketmouth”, which was given Tim in his days as a Perth sportscaster in the ’70s and ’80s, yet Tim wore it like a badge of honour, just as in the past two years he did the baldness resulting from his chemotherapy. Bucketmouth was certainly an appropriate name. Even at the last Swans game he attended, unbowed by the rigours of both illness and treatment, Tim’s voice resonated from the top of the stand, ticking off those footballers he felt were approaching the pigskin timidly.
Timidity was something Tim did not countenance in himself or others. As a boy he persuaded his brothers to jump from the roof using umbrellas as parachutes. I know how they felt. In 1994 Tim told me I was about to become an AFL football commentator and, thanks to his boundless energy, I soon found myself calling Sydney Swans games, alongside H. G. Nelson in matching Ferrari red jacket, while Tim and John Walker lit up the box in their bright mustard jackets. The jackets were contra Tim had scored from one of the broadcast sponsors, a diverse array of entities that included Beds’R’Us and the Sydney Theatre Company. Somehow Tim had talked the Liverpool community radio station 2GLF, the Swans and the AFL into assisting this bold new venture that for the first time saw Sydney Swans fans able to tune into a weekly broadcast of their team’s game. When Tim went to ABC NewsRadio he took the calling of the games with him and he was also instrumental in first 2SM and then 2GB calling Swans matches. This recognition of AFL by Sydney mainstream radio has been a big help in giving the game credibility in NSW.
Raised in Victoria and educated at Xavier College in Melbourne, Tim began life in the media as a disc jockey in country radio stations and worked in radio in Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. He switched to television from 1968 through to 1974 in his role as GTV9’s promotions manager but then it was over to Perth where he became a major presence, broadcasting sport on 6PM, 6KY and 6WF and hosting TVW7’s World of Football. It was here, on 6KY, that he first became a highly rated caller of his beloved AFL. In the early ’90s he moved to Sydney, joined NewsRadio shortly after its launch in 1994 and in recent years was the station’s Monday to Friday sports announcer. The condolence book on the ABC website is testament to his ability to bring the joy, humour and passion of sport to all listeners, not just sports fans. While I did not know Tim well until the early ’90s, it turned out that our paths had in some ways crossed much earlier. Father Leo Flynn, the Jesuit priest at my first school in Perth, was Tim’s uncle and used to impress all of us kids with his ability to kick a football. Footballing clearly ran in the Flynn blood for Tim’s football CV included teams from Tasmania’s Sandy Bay to the Wagga Tigers. Mike Hegarty, Tim’s cousin, recalls that in one early Kyneton game, Tim put his opponent off his kick by doing a handstand on the mark. The only trouble was that Tim’s cigarettes fell out of his jumper.
Ultimately Tim’s great gift was to prove to be not the playing of sport but the broadcasting of it. In private, Tim was a voracious reader with a sharp mind ever looking for new challenges. Even in the last few months with his health more problematic and treatment increasing, he was actively pursuing concepts for TV game and infotainment shows. Tim approached his illness the way he had done everything else, with great positiveness, and most of us are still stunned that he somehow didn’t conquer it. He died at 54, just two weeks after he’d gone back to Perth to see family and friends, insisting that he’d broadcast from there. It was apt that the Swans wore black armbands in his honour in Sydney while Claremont did the same in Perth only Flynny could span the whole continent simultaneously. Tim is survived by his sister, Mary, and brothers John and Dan. He will be sadly missed by them, by his many friends and by the listening public of Australia.
This obituary was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday July 4, 2002
ABC NEWSRADIO TRIBUTE::
Tim Flynn the ABC NewsRadio sports broadcaster has died in hospital in Perth at the age of 54. For several years Tim had waged a valiant fight against cancer, working full time until just a couple of weeks ago. Tim’s career in radio began in Hobart but he was well known to audiences around the country. He had stints on commerical radio in Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney before joining ABC NewsRadio shortly after the station was launched in 1994. In television he worked for Channel 9, first in publicity in Melbourne and later as special events manager for the network. Raised in Victoria, he loved Perth and was PR manager for the America’s Cup Syndicate “Kookaburra” when the challenge was staged off Fremantle. And it was in the west that he made his mark as an AFL caller, a game he’d played in earlier years. He put together 6KY’s on-air team, and later also hosted Channel 7’s World of Football in Perth. He was a valued colleague, and will be sadly missed. ABC NewsRadio extendeds its sincere condolences to his family.