'It's time': Peter Sterling opens up on sad retirement decision

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Peter Sterling and Phil Gould, pictured here before an NRL game in 2008.
Peter Sterling and Phil Gould talk on camera before a game in 2008. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Rugby league icon Peter Sterling has opened up on his decision to retire from commentary after 30 years.

Channel Nine recently announced that Sterling won't be back behind the microphone in 2022, leaving NRL fans gutted.

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Sterling is one of the most respected and beloved voices in the game having turned to commentary and TV after his successful playing career.

The 61-year-old won four premierships with the Parramatta Eels, playing 18 Tests for Australia and 13 State of Origin games for NSW.

After retiring in 1992, Sterling moved into television and soon became one of Australia's favourite commentators.

Speaking about his decision to retire after the 2021 season, Sterling said it just feels like the right time.

“It was just time for me,” he told 4BC on Tuesday.

“I’m 61, we’ve been doing this 30 years, that’s half my life. And I’m just at the stage now where I’m thinking physically I might have another good 10, 15 years in me.

“There’s just too much I want to do. It’s just time to not be watching eight games every week and to just put my energy elsewhere.”

Sterling said he's looking forward to the next stage of his life.

“I’m the luckiest person in the world, when you wake up and you’re looking forward to what you’re going to do for the rest of the day it never feels like work,” he told SEN.

“This last week won’t be any different. I’ve had a great, great time.

“I’m just going to really enjoy it and then when I hang up the microphone I’m looking to put the same kind of energy in what is next for me.

“And that’s family, that’s travel, playing more golf and those kinds of things.”

Peter Sterling, pictured here in commentary for Channel Nine in 2011.
Peter Sterling in commentary for Channel Nine in 2011. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Rugby league fans gutted over Peter Sterling retirement

Sterling will be in commentary for Sunday's night's grand final between Penrith and South Sydney in what will be the final call of his career.

“I’ve tried not to think about it too much. I must admit this last week has snuck up on me a little bit,” he said.

“What I’ve made certain of is to enjoy (this last week). I made the decision back before Origin to retire so it’s been a number of months now.

“I was hellbent of making sure that I did what I’ve done since day one in the media and that’s just having a good time.

“Because rugby league, I played for 15 years in Sydney and I’ve had 30 years now in the media. 

"I’m 61, (so) that’s 45 years and that’s something I could never have imagined or hoped for and it’s been fun since day one.”

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