sport

Former commentator Coleman dies

Sports broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87, his family has confirmed.

The renowned 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.

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

Coleman, who was born in Cheshire and joined the BBC in 1954, presented Grandstand and also hosted quiz show A Question Of Sport from 1979 to 1997.

He also became affectionately known for on-air gaffes, giving his name to the term Colemanballs.

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

Later that year he became the first broadcaster to receive an Olympic Order medal to recognise his contribution to the Olympic movement.

Fellow commentator Brendan Foster, the former Olympic 10,000 metres bronze medallist, hailed Coleman as the "greatest sports broadcaster that ever lived''.

Foster said on the BBC Sport website: "David enriched so many lives and that was down to his brilliant commentary and presentation at all the major sporting events of the world.

"In my view, everybody had a David Coleman quote they could use. It could have been about Pele, Charlton, Toshack or Keegan, or just 'one-nil'.

"It was a privilege to know him, to have him commentating on races during my career, to work with him and to call him a friend.''

British Athletics chairman Ed Warner said: "David has been the voice of some our most memorable moments over the years. A truly iconic broadcaster.''

Gary Lineker paid his own tribute.

The Match of the Day host and former England striker wrote on Twitter: "Sad to hear, David Coleman has died. A giant of sports broadcasting. Brilliant, gifted, precise and concise. Much more than 'one-nil' #RIP.''

Coleman, whose first Olympics was in Rome in 1960, began presenting Grandstand in 1958 and worked on the magazine programme for 10 years.

In 1971 he became the BBC's senior football commentator, covering five FA Cup finals before handing over to John Motson in 1979.

BBC director-general Tony Hall called Coleman "one of this country's greatest and most respected broadcasters'', while the corporation's director of sport

Barbara Slater described him as "a giant in the sports broadcasting world, an iconic and hugely respected figure''.