One of Australia's best loved executives has sadly passed away after an inspirational fight with the "worst brain cancer you can get".

By Joe McDonough


Posted on October 30, 2017

Inspirational former Channel 9 NRL executive, Matt Callander has passed away after a tough battle with brain cancer.

Great bloke. Great family. Great mate to so many.

The 46-year-old made an incredible contribution in the fight against cancer, teaming up with former NRL player Mark Hughes to introduce the Beanies for Brain Cancer NRL round. It raised close to $2 million this year and funded the Matt Callander Fellowship (MCF).

In 2016 he was diagnosed with a grade four tumour, Glioblastoma Multiforme, which as he told Peter Overton on 60 Minutes earlier this year “is the worst brain cancer you can get”. Instead of throwing in the towel, he used the time he had left to fight for those who had more.

The MCF intends to find a cure for brain cancer by supporting the advancement of medical research.

Mr Callander was the head of rugby league at Channel Nine for ten years, and will be sorely missed by more than the Australian sporting community, media industry and his wife and four children.

Earlier this year, his father and racing icon Ken Callander, told Fairfax Media he had “no more tears to cry”.

“Now all I want to worry about are the good times,” said Ken of his son Matt.

Fox Sports NRL commentator Andrew Voss paid tribute to Callander.

“Life is so cruel. Rest in peace Matt Callander. Great bloke. Great family. Great mate to so many,” Voss told the the Daily Telegraph.

Nine’s Sport Director Tom Malone told Wide World of Sports, that he was “loved by all”.

“Matt was a huge influence at Nine in both our NRL coverage and The Footy Show over the past two decades,” Malone said.

“He was loved by all for his quiet understated approach and his terrific way of dealing with producers, talent, production staff – everyone.”