Sports commentator Billy J Smith dies after a fall

Brisbane Times

By Jocelyn Garcia

February 27, 2019

Australian sports fans are mourning the death of Brisbane-based sports commentator Billy J Smith, who died at the age of 73.

According to several media reports, Smith died from head injuries after a fall on Brisbane's Caxton Street, near his beloved Lang Park, after a day out with friends on Tuesday.

He made a name for himself in Brisbane as a rugby league commentator for radio and television and hosted popular game show It's a Knockout in the 1980s.

Smith moved on to 4BC as a host on the Sports Today show 10 years ago.Radio 4BC announcer Mark Braybrook saidSmith's positive mood was infectious andwould always bring a smile to his face."Like everywhere he went, work included, he would always light up the room and was an absolute pleasure to work with," he said.

"He was always life of party and made things enjoyable no matter where he went."

Braybrook said he was very well-respectedand had achieved so much well before his career at 4BC.

"Billy J was just someone who loved being on air, loved talking to people and was passionate about sports," he said.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone he worked with, especially here at 4BC." A photo of Smith was shared on Twitter, which hung on the wall at Seven News Brisbane with an extensive caption.

"Self proclaimed teenage idol of the Brisbane media, Billy J Smith is probably the best known sports presenter in Queensland," it read.

"In his days with radio 4IP, he became famous for his league broadcasts from scaffolding and roof tops when his station was banned from calling games at the venue.

"He was the first to present a regular sports segment within Channel Seven until 1982 through to 1982, many of his good friend Mick Veivers whom he nicknamed The Farmer, a tag which stuck to this day.

"Billy is now the senior rugby league commentator with Channel Ten and has covered league around the world as well as two Olympics."

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