VALE DARRELL EASTLAKE

Via NRL Media

Sports commentator Darrell Eastlake has died after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, aged 75.

Eastlake was the voice of State of Origin in the 1980s in partnership with legendary coach Jack Gibson.

He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and emphysema since 2010 and died in his nursing home on the NSW Central Coast on Thursday morning.

Former Australian and NSW hooker Danny Buderus, who played 21 games for the Blues, says everyone who watched the early years of State of Origin games would link Eastlake immediately to those matches.

“My earliest memories of Origin had Darrell Eastlake’s voice all over it,” Buderus told NRL.com.

“He called so many amazing memories, that built that rivalry into what it is today.”

Hard-running Queensland centre Chris Close, who played nine games for the Maroons (1980-86) recalls the larger-than-life profile Eastlake possessed.

“Darrell was such a nice bloke, his enthusiasm was absolutely infectious, and his smile was bigger than the room,” Close told NRL.com.

“They certainly don’t make them like that anymore. It’s very sad to hear the news.”

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