Tony Campbell had been associated with racing in the Canberra region since the mid 1970’s coming from Coonamble to become race caller for local race clubs
He was involved with the Canberra Racing Club for 29 years in roles that ranged from Nomination Clerk to Master of Ceremonies. But of course Tony was best known for his role as race caller in Canberra for 26 years, he was also employed in the same role by the Queanbeyan and Goulburn Clubs.
During this time Tony called 25 consecutive Black Opals and is well known for his thrilling call of the 1992 Black Opal in which his great mate Frank Cleary’s Clan O’Sullivan became the first locally trained winner of Canberra’s premier racing event.
While Tony was well known as one of Canberra racing’s best ambassadors he was also a passionate Canberra Raiders supporter and was the ground announcer at many of the Raiders home games in the early days of the Raiders. In a long career Tony regularly called Sydney races for the ABC and occasionally was the on-course broadcaster for the AJC.
Tony’s skills were very diverse; he fronted many radio and television shows and called rugby league games and harness races (including three Miracle Miles at Harold Park). His race calling also made him a well-known identity on just about every bush racetrack in New South Wales.
Tony was also a great community man giving up countless hours to entertain the residents of numerous Canberra nursing homes belting out some of his favourite old tunes on the piano. Tony always made himself available to charity organisations helping with many roles such as Master of Ceremonies. He was always happy to provide animated phantom calls when requested and even acted as Santa Claus on the odd occasion.
Born: 17 March 1939
Deceased: 22 May 2006