Upload Your Entry
George Poulos

Peter Frilingos

Peter Frilingos......Legend

Peter Frilingos - Frilingos, Peter ...legend


Funeral, Monday, May 10th, 2004, St Andrews Cathedral, Sydney, CBD.

The Frilingos family has asked that donations be given to the Heart Foundation in memory of Peter and in lieu of flowers.

Donations received will help save the lives of other Australians by supporting the Heart Foundation's research and health education programs to reduce death and disability caused by heart disease.

Tax-deductible donations in Peter's name can be sent to: Peter Frilingos Memorial Donations, PO Box 2222, Strawberry Hills BC, NSW, 2012

[Kytherian background

Peter’s father, Arthur (Athanasios) Frilingos, came to Australia in 1928, from the village of Frilinganika. His father and elder brother were already in Australia. Peter’s grandfather died in 1935. [In 1996, his uncle John was still alive, aged 86, and living in Frilinganika. He stayed in Australia for 12 years, and then in the 1930’s returned to Kythera to stay. Two sisters, have since died. One called Anna, died in 1982.
It was not until 1974, after all those years in Australia, that Peter's father, Arthur, returned to Kythera for the first time].


Front page, The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Tuesday, May 4, 2004.

Telegraph loses its legend of league.

Peter Frilingos, Chief Rugby League Writer for The Daily Telegraph, died late yesterday, after collapsing at work.

The much-loved league writer and columnist had been working on a story at his desk in The Daily Telegraph's sport department. He was 59.

"Chippy" [Australian parachoukli]- joined News Limited as a copyboy at the Daily Mirror on February 5, 1962, and last year celebrated 40 years of covering rugby league in Sydney.

He was also an integral part of 2GB's Continuous Call Team, and a regular on Foxtel's Main Game TV Show.

The Daily Telegraph's editor, Campbell Reid led tributes last night.
"Of all the bulletproof people in the world, and of all the people who more than any other person was the heart and soul of The Daily Telegraph, its was Peter", Mr Reid said.
"In the last couple of days we had celebrated an unbelievable career as this city's leading rugby league writer, a duty he performed with unsurpassed passion and professionalism."

He is survived by his wife, Maureen, son Matt, and daughters Anna and Alison.

[Matt is also a Daily Telegraph reporter and is known as "Junior Chippie".]

Peter Reid. Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Tuesday, May 4, 2004, page 14.

Farewell to a league legend.

The Daily Telegraph mourned today the passing of Chief Rugby League Writer, Peter Frilingos.

"Chippy" collapsed at his work desk, late yesterday, and died early in the evening.

His death has stunned his colleagues, who have lost a great friend, and a man who, in many ways, was the soul and character of the newspaper.

We are sure this sense of loss will also be felt acutely by those, not only in the rugby league world, but also in the wider community.

Anyone who has met Peter could not help but be touched by his larrikin humour and kindness.

Above all he was a man of decency and honour. His word was his bond.

Peter, who was 59, started at News Limited as a copyboy in 1962, and even after 40 years of covering the game he loved so passionately, his enthusiasm never waned.

As News Limited chief executive officer John Hartigan said last night: "He was one of the greatest sports writers this country has produced, a master writer of rugby league....legend is a word that is often over used but this is what he was."

Our deepest thoughts, our love and sympathy are with Peter's family - his wife Maureen, son Matt and daughters Anna and Alison.

Front page, The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Tuesday, May 5, 2004.

Chippy: Legend on top of the game right to the end


May 5, 2004

WITHIN minutes of Peter Frilingos suffering his heart attack, phone calls were being received at The Daily Telegraph from various radio and news organisations around Sydney.

Given his daughter Alison was touring Italy with an orchestra and had yet to be told, the outlets were asked to hold off releasing details until she knew.

Frilingos would have understood the chase, being a newspaperman himself.

More importantly, though, in their haste for confirmation, the news outlets understood what Peter Frilingos meant to Sydney.

Here was a Sydney identity at his prime.

He could be read almost every day in the city's biggest-selling daily newspaper, he spent 12 hours a weekend on 2GB's leading rugby league coverage, he was a prominent figure on Fox Sport's The Back Page and Main Game programs.

He received tributes from Prime Minister John Howard on Monday night and from NSW Premier Bob Carr yesterday morning.

He was such a figure in the game of rugby league it would not be overcalling it to say, in his own small way, he helped influence its course.

The game's administrators, from Kevin Humphreys to John Quayle to Ken Arthurson, to Neil Whittaker and David Moffett and, finally, to David Gallop were all frequently on the other end of his phone.

Indeed, it was Gallop at the end of the line when Frilingos fell on to his desk on Monday afternoon.

While there is no suggestion they were dictated to by him, there is also no denying his counsel was always considered – more than any other working media figure.

On Sunday he wrote a column about abuse by players of referees. On Monday the NRL issued a statement saying abuse would no longer be tolerated.

It is just one case in point.

That is why his death was carried on television news bulletins, why Alan Jones spoke about him on his morning radio show.

Why Mike Carlton and John Laws did, too. Why 2KY's Big Sports Breakfast was another.

More than anything, they spoke of their shock.

2GB's Ray Hadley, morning radio's No. 1 rating talkback host and also a close friend, had the day off.

Peter Frilingos - Fringos Peter - Part of Ray Hadley's continuous call team

Peter, as part of 2GB Radio's "Continuous Call Team."

Chippy's death was so jarring, and was felt so deeply, mostly because he was still in his prime.

Every day he came in looking to get the back page story.

And he was so good it meant you had to read the newspaper each morning to find out what was happening in rugby league, because he knew.

He hadn't faded away, become that bloke that used to write about rugby league.

As yesterday dawned it was an odd feeling, a death that came so suddenly many still found it hard to believe – it didn't feel real.

He was on the ball right to the end.

All items - Copyright, News Limited - used with permission, for which we thank the editorial team at the Daily Telegraph greatly.

Farewell to Peter Frilingos

By Sports Editor BILLY RULE

May 9, 2004

AT 4.50pm last Monday The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kent was talking to his good mate and work colleague Peter Frilingos at the desk they shared.

At 5pm Peter had a massive heart attack and Paul joined other staff members who tried to save his life.

At 6.10pm, after paramedics had taken his mate's body away, a grieving Paul Kent started writing a tribute to Peter for the next day's paper. It was the last thing he wanted to do, but it's his job. He is a journalist.

Peter would have been so proud of him and how proud we all are of Peter.

Tomorrow at 10.30am at St Andrew's Cathedral we will say goodbye to a mate, a mentor and a man of honour.

A man with personality, belief, the quickest of wits and the strongest of convictions.

Aside from his incredible devotion to his family, his true loves were rugby league, rock fishing and being a journalist for News Limited.

I met "Chippy" 20 years ago and he welcomed me into the magical world of sports reporting. A world where breaking a news story gave you a buzz but having fun doing it – and talking about it afterwards – made it even better.

Peter was a great journalist because he was a storyteller. Not only did he get the yarns but he knew how to tell them and rarely would he be able to stay in his chair doing so.

He would get up, grab you firmly by the arm, lock your eyes with a bug-eyed stare, then pull back waving his arms above his head as if he was falling out of a plane.

Littered through each story were phrases such as: "What don't you understand about the words: 'No-one cares!!'; "In the fair-dinkum department"; "Hang on, hang on, hang on – let's cut the hysteria"; What am I speaking – Swahili?"; and, of course, his morning greeting of, "Any atrocities?".

He covered or, more often than not, broke all the big stories that engulfed rugby league.

His coverage of the Super League era drew criticism from those who didn't know. Because he was seen as a staunch ARL man, misguided critics found it easy to condemn him for supporting News Ltd's Super League. But the truth is – as we discussed many, many times – he supported the best thing for the game and he believed that to be the Super League concept.

Peter began his career at News Limited in 1962. He covered 40 grand finals, 69 State of Origin games and went on five Kangaroo tours. He was an integral member of 2GB's Continuous Call team and recently established a new following on Fox Sports on the Back Page and MainGame programs.

The desk he sat at – usually entertaining or advising young journalists – is now covered in flowers. A tribute book with not enough pages sits nearby. A black cloud hangs over the office.

Apart from the regular lectures on rugby league, the best advice he gave me was about family.

One day when I told him I was having an argument with my wife he simply advised me to "say sorry". I explained that I was in the right and it wasn't up to me to apologise.

He got up, grabbed me by the arm and pointed at me with his other finger: "Mate, aren't you listening. Even when she's wrong just say sorry. Your wife is the most important thing in your life and part of the deal is keeping her happy. Say sorry."

Among all the memories, that is the advice that stands out – and my wife is eternally grateful.

Peter was 59. He is survived by wife Maureen and children Matthew, Alison and Anna.

Goodbye Mr Chips

A great bloke...and that'll do us

Rugby league writer Peter Frilingos might have been a knockabout type, but he had old fashioned values in which family came first..

writes, PAUL KENT

May 9, 2004

PETER Frilingos joined The Daily Mirror in 1962 and for two years worked the police rounds, showing his NSW Police press pass badge to get in behind the police tape.

First day on the job he was warned against heading upstairs at a building in Kings Cross, a policeman telling the senior reporter to keep the new kid away from this one, a guy that had come off second best to a shotgun.

The senior reporter turned to Frilingos and said it was up to him. What else was he going to do? He was a reporter.

He walked upstairs and years later could still describe the room, the body that had a few teeth left in the bottom jaw.

To the day he died he still carried his official police press badge in his brief case, by then a sentimental keepsake.

After two years on police rounds he was shifted to rugby league, begrudgingly, if it must be told.

He told the boss if it was all the same he'd prefer to stay on police rounds and the boss said if it was all the same it wasn't up to him. But the move turned out to be good for him.

It exposed him to Sydney's underworld and the mix of hustlers and punters and desperates that were always looking for the quick buck, and he ran with the illegal casino mob, with Bill Mordey as his offsider.

They spoke their own language, these people he was exposed to.

A kind of verbal shorthand that could be difficult to understand to the untrained ear, yet with his journalist's ear Chippy listened and over time began to absorb it.

The way he spoke it

Many phrases became part of his own language. Some, not working, were thrown out. Others still were re-worked into his own language. "That'll do me" was a favourite.

If it got a laugh it stayed, if not he moved on. He often called people Nevilles, as in a Neville Nobody.

Soon Bob Fulton, his close mate and Manly coach at the time, picked up on the colourful phrases and soon he, too, was calling people Nevilles or telling them to give themselves an uppercut.

It spread and became common again among footballers. What happened next was Manly captain Paul Vautin went prime time with The Footy Show and the language, once lost, again became a part of the national lexicon.

But Chippy had his own phrases, reworked so well over time that he knew exactly the right pitch at which to toss them up. It wasn't, "Anything happen on the night out?" It was, "Any atrocities?"

Or, "What's doing in the zoo?" when he'd call a club. Or if someone was hopelessly outmatched they weren't going to just get beaten. "All what'll be left will be the left eyebrow and the tongue of his shoe."

Gone fishin'

He worked so much, his spare time was important to him. He loved fishing. Over time he got to know this old bloke who taught him about the tides, about the battle. Quite a bit older than Chippy, they became friends and met as they chased blackfish off the rocks at Bondi, or Maroubra, or McKenzies Bay in between.

"They're not big fish but they fight hard," says Matthew, his son, on why Chippy liked the blackfish.

As the years went on he took his boy with him, teaching him the tides, what waves to look for. He taught him the battle. Matthew says: "Other people would come to fish and he would have to tell them what to do.

"It's quite complicated, it takes a lot of skill. Rock fishing is the most dangerous sport in the world.

"More people die off the rocks than anywhere, but he could sit there and say to me, 'Get back now', and while it didn't look like a big swell, a big wave would crash over us. I was quite amazed the way he did it."

Going national

For many years hewas the hard-news sports reporter for the old Daily Mirror and then later, when the papers merged, for The Daily Telegraph.

The serious persona was carried over on the radio in the early days, the expert on league policy or the latest injuries, stuff like that.

But the changes that time brought in public taste were good for Chippy.

Radio no longer rated just by calling the game. People needed some entertainment as well.

So the Continuous Call changed over time. It meant more of his personality came out, the quick wit and the phrasing.

"He always had a comeback," says Laurie Daley, who worked with the team for several years.

"During the breaks it was like they were still on air.

"You know what they're like on air. They'd be really unloading on someone or each other and it used to be funny.

"Bolts (Ray Hadley) and Chippy and Bozo (Bob Fulton) were so close," says Daley, "yet they would unload on each other." It would continue when the show went to an ad break. The only difference being that there was no need for censorship.

That, says Daley, was when you really laughed. During one break Chippy turned to Steve Roach.

"Listen here you big ape," he said.

"I've protected you all your career so you better go with me."

Blocker laughed so hard he had tears in his eyes.

On his last day on air they were into him about his garlic breath, Chippy having had a garlic meal the night before.

His face hidden behind a program, Hadley said he was banning garlic.

Somebody from Mentos (the mint lolly company) rang the show offering to sponsor him.

The familyman

Chippy played the down trodden father perfectly. When his son Matthew joined News Limited he was so proud his heart nearly beat out of his chest.

Yet, unless you caught him at a vulnerable time, the most he would say was, "I don't know why he wants to get into this caper."

"But," says Ray Hadley, "behind that was an unbelievable sense of pride that he followed in his father's footsteps."

Similarly, when his eldest daughter Alison began showing promise as a cellist, mostly he'd say things like, "Can you believe that you've got to pay that much for a cello?

"You can buy a car for that."

But when Alison headed overseas to study – and is already a highly regarded performer touring with an orchestra in Italy – a father's pride showed through.

There was his daughter Anna, and of course there was his wife Maureen, whom he met in 1971.

"He never called her the missus or anything like that, it was always my wife," Hadley says. "He'd say 'If I keep my wife happy, the kids are happy, the home's happy, and then I'm happy'.

"He never spoke about anybody's wife in a derogatory manner.

"He was sort of old-world in that way.

"In the early days if I was ever rude to a woman on air, didn't he give it to me.

"And early in my career I probably verged on being rude to women, but he'd say, 'Listen idiot, there's no worse sign of a mug than someone who is rude to women'. " He was like that.

He kept his old-fashioned values while the rest of him stayed up to the minute.

That's why there was a relationship that lasted 33 years.

One that could have ended only one way, as it did Monday.

The Frilingos family has asked that donations be given to the Heart Foundation in memory of Peter and in lieu of flowers.

Donations received will help save the lives of other Australians by supporting the Heart Foundation's research and health education programs to reduce death and disability caused by heart disease.

Tax-deductible donations in Peter's name can be sent to: Peter Frilingos Memorial Donations, PO Box 2222, Strawberry Hills BC, NSW, 2012

All items - Copyright, News Limited - used with permission, for which we thank the editorial team at the Sunday Telegraph greatly.

Peter Frilingos - Peter Frilingos_funeral

Sydney farewells its legend of league


May 11, 2004

PETER Frilingos was laid to rest yesterday after a fitting funeral service where the word "laughter" was used repeatedly in tribute to the peerless journalist and family man.

One week after Chippy collapsed at his desk in The Daily Telegraph sports department, some 1500 mourners filled St Andrew's Cathedral to overflowing to honour the man who covered rugby league for 40 of his 59 years.

The range of mourners told the story of a life that touched so many people.

There were media chiefs and newspaper editors, coaches and players past and present, veteran journos and cadets – and hundreds of members of the public, watching the service on screens outside, who had never met Chippy but knew and loved him through his unparalleled coverage of the code.

Their sense of loss was equalled by their sympathy for the Frilingos family – wife Maureen, son Matt and daughters Alison and Anna – at the premature departure of this wonderful family man.

Alison Frilingos prefaced her reading from Corinthians with the observation that "Dad was not a religious man but it looks like he might be in danger of becoming a saint".

Matthew spoke of his father's modesty and wondered what he would have made of the outpouring at his death.

He described his father as being "as dedicated and loving as anyone can hope to be".

"Dad had a wonderful way of talking to you that made you feel like the most important person in the world," he said.

News Limited chief executive officer John Hartigan described an unpretentious and inspirational man whose devotion to his craft made him "a sentinel in The Daily Telegraph office".

"After 40 years of reporting he still sat there like everyone else, no office, just a work station like everyone else," Mr Hartigan said.

"It was from this epicentre that so many young reporters learned that it is possible to be a great reporter and a decent human being at the same time."

National Rugby League chief executive David Gallop – who was being interviewed by Frilingos over the telephone last Monday at the time of his collapse – described a man "who brought the game alive for the fans".

"It's impossible to think of Chippy without thinking of laughter and of raised voices – he was always quick to both," Gallop said. "I can assure you that when Chippy rang me he was in good spirits. He died pursuing a career that he loved."

Radio 2GB broadcaster and Continuous Call team member Ray Hadley remembered a great friend he had sat next to every weekend for the past 18 years.

His tribute – filled with vintage Chippyisms such as his trademark insult, "gibberer" – had a powerful and uplifting force.

But again, it was the family man who shone through. Hadley said that, in asking his friend for advice on bringing up his own kids, Frilingos said: "Be really firm – but keep telling them you love them."

Leave A comment