Vale Matt Callander

The NRL today paid its respects to Channel Nine rugby league stalwart, Matt Callander, after he succumbed to brain cancer on the weekend.

Mr Callander was a much-loved and respected member of the rugby league community, having been a crucial part of Channel Nine's NRL coverage for two decades.

Earlier this year, Callander joined forces with Mark Hughes, himself diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013, for the 'Beanie for Brain Cancer' round – raising over $1.7 million to go towards research to prevent the cancer.

NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg paid tribute to Mr Callander, saying Matt's brave and selfless example to put others before himself in the quest to save more people from brain cancer in the future, would not be forgotten.

"Matt was a truly remarkable human, who loved his family, his friends and his footy," Mr Greenberg said.

"I was fortunate enough to call him a friend and I know how hard he fought to hang in there for as long as he could.

"We are poorer for his passing, but we are grateful that he was part of our rugby league family for so many years.

"His legacy will live on in our game and we will continue to be there for his family and for his cause."

Around 1,600 people are diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia annually. Sadly, approximately 1,200 die from the disease every year.