Sports broadcaster David Coleman dies aged 87

Former BBC sports broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87 after a short illness, his family has confirmed.

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David Coleman's cherished gaffes from over his career

Sports commentator David Coleman at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground in 1971. Credit: BBC/PA Wire

Broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87. As well as being an instantly recognisable voice of sport, Coleman was also affectionately known for on-air gaffes, giving his name to Private Eye magazine's Colemanballs column of commentators' mistakes.

Here are a few of his famous sayings:

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


Your tributes to David Coleman

As news that veteran sports commentator David Coleman has died after a short illness you have been paying tribute to one of the best known voices in sport:

  • Julie Simpson: "This so sad we were brought up with that voice..very sad loss deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and people who knew and loved him"
  • Stan Wilde: "Happy memories of watching him from when I was a child. He had a great distinctive broadcasting voice. Sadly missed. R.I.P."
  • Dave Rutherford: "Very sad day, he was my favourite football commentator"

Sports broadcasters lead tributes to David Coleman


Coleman 'set the standard for sports broadcasters'

David Coleman was one of this country's greatest and most respected broadcasters.

Generations grew up listening to his distinctive and knowledgeable commentary. Whether presenting, commentating or offering analysis, he set the standard for all today's sports broadcasters.

Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.

– Tony Hall, BBC director general

David Coleman dies aged 87

BBC commentator David Coleman in the Lenin Stadium, Moscow in 1980. Credit: S&G/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Former BBC sports broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87 after a short illness, his family has confirmed.

Coleman presented some of the BBC's leading sporting programmes, including Grandstand and Sportsnight, and was the host of Question of Sport for 18 years.

He was awarded an OBE in 1992 and retired from the BBC in 2000.

A statement from 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."

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