Friday 22 September 2017

Renowned British athletics commentator David Coleman dies

TALENTED: David Coleman was also known for his gaffes. Photo: Tony Harris/PA Wire
TALENTED: David Coleman was also known for his gaffes. Photo: Tony Harris/PA Wire

Press Association

FORMER sports broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87.

In a statement, his family said: "We regret to announce the death of David Coleman OBE, after a short illness he died peacefully with his family at his bedside."

The renowned British athletics commentator worked for the BBC for almost 50 years, covering 11 summer Olympic Games, his final one in Sydney in 2000.

He also covered six football World Cups as a commentator or presenter.

Colleagues and friends have paid tribute to the commentator, a long-running host of the BBC's A Question of Sport panel show.

Though vastly talented and versatile, Mr Coleman was also well-known for a number of on-air gaffes, affectionately called 'Colemanballs' -- a phrase coined by Private Eye.

Some of his most memorable were: "He is one of the great unknown champions because very little is known about him."

* "We estimate, and this isn't an estimation, that Greta Waltz is 80 seconds behind."

* "He is accelerating all the time. The last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before in 62."

* "And the line-up for the final of the women's 400 metres hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede and a Frenchman."

* "The Republic of China: back in the Olympic Games for the first time."

* "That's the fastest time ever run, but it's not as fast as the world record."

Irish Independent

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