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Veteran Channel Nine sports reporter Tony Jones has lifted the lid on his tragic childhood in an emotional new interview.

The Sunday Footy Show host, 61, spoke to 3AW host Neil Mitchell this week about being abandoned and abused as a child, as well as the death of his sister after she was run over by a drunk driver.

Jones, who was beaten by his stepdad after his real father walked out on the family when he was just two years old, described his formative years as ‘a rough start’.

Veteran Channel Nine sports reporter Tony Jones (pictured) has lifted the lid on his tragic childhood in an emotional new interview with 3AW host Neil Mitchell this week

Veteran Channel Nine sports reporter Tony Jones (pictured) has lifted the lid on his tragic childhood in an emotional new interview with 3AW host Neil Mitchell this week

When his father died eight years ago, Jones said he received a call from the police asking whether he’d like to pay for the funeral. 

‘I do tend to be a little bit emotional about [my dad’s death] now. Should I have given him a second chance? He treated my mum like s**t but should I have got to know him a little bit?’ Jones said.

‘Only two times I met him [and it] was more out of curiosity. Leading to another pang of regret, they asked me and I said no [to paying for the funeral]. ‘I said, “What happens now?” And they said, “He’ll go into a pauper’s grave.”‘

Jones is pictured here with Channel Nine colleague Alicia Loxley

Jones is pictured here with Channel Nine colleague Alicia Loxley

The famously short-tempered Jones said that while he isn’t proud of what he did, he sees his decision not to pay for the funeral as a form of ‘payback’.

‘I don’t lose sleep over it, but I have little bits of regret that I put my dad in a pauper’s grave. There was no support for my mum when he upped and left. There had to be payback at some stage,’ he told Mitchell.

The TV host also spoke of how he suffered physical abuse at the hands of his mother’s new partner.

The TV host also spoke of how he suffered physical abuse at the hands of his mother's new partner. (Jones is pictured with his mother)

The TV host also spoke of how he suffered physical abuse at the hands of his mother’s new partner. (Jones is pictured with his mother)

‘Mum herself says she was unlucky in love. The blokes that were in our lives were dropkicks or drunks. That didn’t make it pleasant,’ he said. 

At age 12, Jones tried to stop his step-father from physically abusing his mother.

‘He flattened me. He knocked me from one end of the lounge room to the other. I’ve still got a fat lip… that was pretty awful,’ Jones recalled. 

At age 12, Jones tried to stop his step-father from physically abusing his mother

At age 12, Jones tried to stop his step-father from physically abusing his mother 

He added: ‘In my quiet moments, I think about things like this. 

‘As I get older, I think if you think about it too much, you end up a basket case. That’s why I get very annoyed when I hear stories emanating from the courts, “Oh, he came from a broken home.”

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‘Don’t give me that s**t. A lot of us have come from a broken home but still managed to stay on the straight and narrow.’

Jones also reflected on the death of his sister Robyn, who was killed at age 20 by a drunk driver in Melbourne.

Jones also reflected on the death of his sister Robyn, who was killed at age 20 by a drunk driver in Melbourne

Jones also reflected on the death of his sister Robyn, who was killed at age 20 by a drunk driver in Melbourne 

Pictured is a childhood photo of Jones and his sister Robyn

Pictured is a childhood photo of Jones and his sister Robyn

Jones recounted the moment his mother, who was living in Melbourne, called him at 2am to say: ‘We’ve lost Robyn.’

The radio announcer was living in Sydney at the time and rushed to the airport.

‘I came back to Melbourne and I remember picking up The Herald at the airport and it was on the front page and I thought, “Oh, this is real.”

Jones recounted the moment his mother, who was living in Melbourne, called him at 2am to say: 'We've lost Robyn'. He was living in Sydney at the time and rushed to the airport

Jones recounted the moment his mother, who was living in Melbourne, called him at 2am to say: ‘We’ve lost Robyn’. He was living in Sydney at the time and rushed to the airport 

‘That was many, many years ago, and for the life of me I don’t know how my mum did it. As she says, you never get over it, you have to live with it.’

Because of this experience, Jones said he is ‘absolutely paranoid’ about driving the morning after having even a single drink.

Jones has also become ‘more emotional’ about losing his sister as he gets older because he wishes his children could have met their aunt.

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In a bittersweet revelation, he spoke of how his mother held her second wedding in a cemetery so his late sister could ‘be part of it’ when she remarried.

Jones has become 'more emotional' about losing his sister as he gets older because he wishes his children could have met their aunt

Jones has become ‘more emotional’ about losing his sister as he gets older because he wishes his children could have met their aunt 

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