The Pool Room with Tony Armstrong

The Pool Room with Tony Armstrong

Join Tony Armstrong on a trip through the annals of sports history to uncover some of the most extraordinary, untold tales that will captivate, surprise, and inspire. From footy to Formula 1, this is the show that celebrates the winners, losers, and the weird stuff between.

Episodes

February 29, 2024 8 mins

It's the last Grand Prix of the 1959 Formula 1 season and Jack Brabham is on the verge of his first Driver's Championship. He only needs to finish ahead of his two closest rivals to secure an F1 crown. But on the final lap, every driver’s worst nightmare becomes Jack Brabham’s reality.

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To put it bluntly, English football in the 1970s was a boys club - to the extent that stadiums didn't even have women's toilets. Even the media rooms were full of male journalists. That was until one woman looked to challenge the status quo. A photographer named Hy Money had a passion for taking pictures, and nobody was going to stand in her way.

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February 15, 2024 7 mins

Patrick Mills is one of our country's greatest athletes. He's a star on the basketball court and an NBA Champion. But the secret to his success stems from his childhood, and a very special junior b-ball club that shaped Patty into the player he is today.

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February 8, 2024 9 mins

The winter of 1954 saw one of the most gruelling motor racing events in history: an 18-day, long-distance rally around Australia. And the man tipped as favourite, turned up to the start of the race wearing a gorilla mask and driving a car full of explosives. This is the story of “Gelignite Jack”.

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February 1, 2024 10 mins

Les Darcy was a boxing champion and a national hero…until he wasn't. At the height of the First World War, he secretly boarded a ship to avoid impending military conscription. His destination? The glitz and glamour of New York's professional boxing scene. But by the time he arrived, the world had turned its back on this rising star. 

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December 14, 2023 9 mins

Dennis Bergkamp was one of the greatest footballers of his generation. By his early 20s, he was a star in the making. But in 1995, Bergkamp's contract negotiations with Arsenal hit a snag when the club learned about his greatest fear - a serious phobia that threatened to disrupt Dennis' football career.

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December 7, 2023 10 mins

Being called "the Lionel Messi of…" anything is a badge of honour. To be that good at your chosen sport is an incredible achievement. But Gary Hunt is the best in the world at a sport so extreme, that one wrong move could cause serious spinal injuries…or even death. 

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November 30, 2023 7 mins

In 1896, Arthur Richardson became the first person to cross the Nullabor on a bicycle. It was his first taste of the open country and it left him wanting more. Four years later, Arthur set his sights on another record – to be the first person to circumnavigate the entire continent on a bike. But the adventure quickly turned into a race, when three other blokes just so happened to be attempting the same feat, at the exact same time.

...

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November 23, 2023 8 mins

Curling is a sport that's usually associated with cold places, like Scotland, Canada or New Zealand. So, just how did Australia, the driest inhabited continent on Earth, manage to produce an Olympic-qualifying curling team?  

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November 16, 2023 8 mins

A 16-year-old Wilma Rudolph was the youngest athlete in the United States Olympic team at the 1956 Games in Melbourne. Representing her country on the world stage was a proud moment for the high school student. Even the bronze medal she took home was a huge achievement, considering Wilma was once told as a child that she would never walk again.

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November 9, 2023 7 mins

The 1991 Canadian Grand Prix was a race full of surprises. Despite winning the first four races of the season, Ayrton Senna had qualified in third. That made way for Williams duo Riccardo Patrese and Nigel Mansell. By the last lap, Mansell had taken pole position...but a spur-of-the-moment decision would put his entire race in jeopardy.

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November 2, 2023 7 mins

In 1967, salesman Des Renford is enjoying a few drinks with his mates down the pub, when one of them proposes a mighty dare: to swim across Port Phillip Bay...the very next morning. What happened next, unexpectedly propelled Des into a new athletic career. 

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October 26, 2023 7 mins

The name Michael Buffer might not mean much to you, but you definitely know his voice. He’s probably the world’s most recognisable ring announcer, in boxing and professional wrestling. But the story of how he went from fight night favourite to American cultural phenomenon, is all thanks to a family secret that remained hidden for decades. 

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October 19, 2023 6 mins

The annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is one of the longest of its kind in the world. Sailors from around the globe make the trip to Sydney each year to compete in this iconic event. But when it was first established in 1945, it wasn't supposed to be a race at all. 

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October 12, 2023 6 mins

If you don’t associate squash with sporting legends, you just haven’t met Heather McKay. Heather came from a sports mad family and squash wasn't her first choice - she took up the sport to maintain her fitness while playing hockey. But Heather quickly learned that she was pretty good at squash, and after entering her first competition, she never looked back.

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Bill Roycroft might just be Australia's greatest Olympian you've never heard of. He competed in five consecutive Summer Games, winning several medals. But his debut at Rome 1960 was the scene of a remarkable feat, when not even severe injury could keep Bill down.

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September 28, 2023 7 mins

The name Karl Power is not synonymous with great sporting heroes, and yet, it has graced Wimbledon's Centre Court, the Formula 1 podium at Silverstone, and the hallowed turf of Headingly Cricket Ground. That's because Karl Power is better known as Britain's greatest impostor.

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September 21, 2023 6 mins

They say you should never meet your heroes, but what if you beat your heroes? That's the conundrum Mark Taylor faced in 1998, when he became just the fourth Australian to score a triple-century in Test cricket. But dare he surpass the Aussie record of 334 not out, held by Sir Donald Bradman since 1930?

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September 14, 2023 8 mins

If you’ve ever taken a stroll down the top end of Melbourne’s Flinders Street, you might have noticed the Hotel Lindrum, fire-engine red, with fancy swirls and arch windows. The hotel is closed now, but the building was named after a family who became known for their dominance of the local billiards scene. Walter Lindrum, in particular, was so good they had to change the rules to stop him.

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September 7, 2023 10 mins

You've heard the stories about Phar Lap. He was Australia's greatest-ever racehorse. A national treasure. So much so, that his unusually large heart, which is thought to be the source of his incredible abilities, is famously on display in Canberra. But the thing is...that heart sitting in a museum might actually be a fake. 

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