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‘Larger than life’ commentator remembered

By Jake Beleski

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A competent commentator and a hell of a nice guy.

Those were the two features that stood out to people recalling their memories of former sports commentator Doug Springer, who died peacefully in Havelock North on May 30, aged 90.

Springer enjoyed a successful commentary career, frequently covering representative and provincial rugby matches in Wairarapa, and also being a major part of the Golden Shears for several years.

Former mayor Bob Francis knew him reasonably well, and said he could be an “imposing character”.

“He was a very competent rugby commentator and a great character . . . he was larger than life at times.

“He had a great amount of rugby knowledge and a love of the game, and he made a great contribution during that period.”

Springer also ran a shop that sold sports gear in Masterton which gave him a connection to a lot of different sports.

But rugby was his great love, Francis said.

“He was well-liked and a great guy.

“He was well-known in town because of his shop and involvement in the community.”

Sir Brian Lochore is another who has fond memories of Springer, and also referred to him as a “very competent commentator”.

But he was so much more than just that, Lochore said.

“He did a good job in commentating but more importantly he was a hell of a nice guy.

“He didn’t only do it for rugby, he contributed a lot to charities and other things in Wairarapa.”

He recalled Springer having a booming, forceful voice which was a great thing for a commentator in those days.

You would struggle to find a more “lovely guy”, Lochore said.

The Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union also wished to acknowledge Springer’s contribution to the sport in the region.

“Doug was a great contributor to Wairarapa rugby during his time,” chief executive Tony Hargood said.

“Many people from his era will remember him fondly and our thoughts and prayers are with the Springer family.”

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