JOHN TAPP BIOGRAPHY
Known to many simply as ‘Tappy’, John Tapp will go down in the history books as one of Australia’s all-time greatest sports commentators. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1996, and in 2007 he was recognized as an Australia Post ‘Australian Legend’.
What many people don’t know is that John Tapp received his OAM for services not only to horse racing, but more significantly for his support of charitable organizations. This includes acting as a ‘voice’ and ambassador for The Variety Club of Australia, and Diabetes Australia.
Unlike many of us, John Tapp’s purpose became glaringly obvious as a child in the 1940’s listening to the legendary race caller Ken Howard on the wireless radio. Coming from a poor family, John would fill his days up with activities that did not cost his working mother unnecessary expense.
This included painting paddle pop sticks in the colours of the well known racehorses of the era, and throwing them into the fast flowing current of a nearby storm water channel. Young John would walk for miles, calling the progress of the paddle pop sticks, as though they were real racehorses. He became well known to local residents who’s backyards adjoined the storm water channel.
John has vivid memories of his first day at the races. His grandfather, a keen punter, took the excited youngster to Randwick for the running of the Sydney Cup. The big race was won by a horse called Talisman, ridden by Johns’ favourite jockey Stan Cassidy.
Along with calling over 50,000 races, John was also well known to Australian sports fans tuning into the Nine Network, and radio stations across the nation. He was Channel Nines’ Racing presenter for more than thirty years. He presented a Saturday night News Racing segment for 22 of those 30 years, and provided regular colour stories for programmes like Wide World of Sports, and Sports Sunday.
For seven years, John was co-host of the popular Lotto draw, alongside the lovely Karen Pini. His radio involvement began with 2GB in 1965, moving to 2UE in 1981.It was during his time at 2GB that John met his other love, wife Ann. For a decade he was official course broadcaster on Sydney’s’ four metro racetracks. In 2015, John officially resigned from the world of Media after an astounding 50 years.
While Johns career was blessed, life was not without hardship. John’s son was only seven years of age when he was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, and today his son has lost all of his eyesight as a result of this devastating disease. John understands first hand the impact of Diabetes, and has made it his personal mission to raise awareness and funds to find a cure. He is also passionate about ensuring children are given the best opportunities to live a fulfilling life. Alongside wife Ann, John has collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for The Variety Club of Australia, Bear Cottage and more recently The Ted Noffs Foundation and Hands Across the Water.
While he is most famous for race calling, It is a call from the heart that has driven John to use his legendary voice to enact change and find solutions to some of greatest social issues faced by mankind.
As a speaker or MC John is charismatic and wise yet humble and authentic. He believes the harder you work the luckier you get and is famous in the media industry for the research he does prior to any engagement. Needless to say, John draws on half a century of experience as the man behind the microphone.