Last call for man behind the mike

Part-time South Canterbury sports radio broadcaster Cyril Britten has passed away in Hastings aged 90.

Britten worked as rep for the Shell Oil Company but spent his weekends behind the microphone during the 1950s, 60s and 70s in Timaru.

He called North Otago's win over Australia in Oamaru off the back of a truck in 1962. He was the man behind the mike when South Canterbury lost the Ranfurly Shield to Wellington in 1974.

Britten was also a keen bowler, at the Kia Toa club, and a more than handy ballroom dancer.

Growing up in Timaru, John McBeth listened to Britten's calls from Fraser Park many times and later got to know him very well.

McBeth, who would become the leading radio commentator in the 80s and 90s, recalls his excellent voice and sense of humour.

He met Britten at his Napier home only a few months ago and was delighted at his alertness and memory of his times behind the microphone in Timaru.

John Dunne succeeded Britten at Radio New Zealand in 1977 when Britten moved to the North Island.

The Timaru Herald