Even today, Billy Moore is the unofficial custodian of The Call. Just the mere mention of it - whether it be by a grumbling New South Wales Blues fan, or any Queensland Origin great - recalls that scene of the Maroons stalwart thundering down the SFS players tunnel prior to the second half of Game One of the 1995 series, screaming “Queenslander!”
If you think the North Sydney Bears' veteran of 211 games between 1989-89 is embarrassed to be linked with such an historic moment, played out at the height of the ARL vs Super League war which decimated the Maroons’ squad, think again. As you’re about to read, the call had been passed down through the years amongst his Maroons ancestors long before the rock-solid backrower had entered the interstate sheds. But he’s outright honoured to hold the flame.
Today, the 47-year-old is also a proud member of the Fox League team, making regular appearances on the NRL-dedicated channel’s NRL 360 program. He is also a starter on the broadcaster’s unashamedly non-inclusive Queenslanders Only panel show.
Here, the great man shares the outline of the night the world was let in on Queensland’s powerful method of maintaining pride in the jumper. If you’d like to hear more from Billy, drop in on him at his award-winning pizza restaurant, Augello’s on the beachfront at Mooloolaba in the Sunshine State. You will quickly discover he is as passionate for Queensland today as he was on that now-legendary night.
“All humour aside, I’m honoured at the fact the 'Queenslander' call has been attached to me,” Moore told Inside Sport. “It had been around for a long time inside the Queensland camp, but outsiders hadn’t seen it; obviously it was shown on TV in 1995. When we came down the tunnel, we didn’t know that camera was there. Broadcasters have always tried to get in-depth views of the game, to take the viewers to another part of the spectacle they’ve never seen. In fact, that was the first time they had used tunnel footage.