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Legendary BBC Commentator David Coleman Dies at Age 87

1 AUG 1992:  LINFORD CHRISTIE OF GREAT BRITAIN WINS THE 100 METRES FINAL FROM FRANKIE FREDERICKS FAR SIDE AND DENNIS MITCHELL CENTRE. OLAPEDE ADENIKEN NEAREST CAMERA. LEROY BURRELL TO HIS RIGHT. CHRISTIE WINS IN A TIME OF 9:96 SECONDS IN THE MONTJUIC STADIUM IN BARCELONA,SPAIN.
Via BBC Sport Twitter
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2013

David Coleman has passed away after a short illness, it was announced on Saturday morning.

The news was confirmed over Twitter by the BBC, for whom Coleman contributed his iconic work during an illustrious career as a broadcaster:

Following the announcement, tributes from those in the media and sports as a whole flooded in for the former industry figure, who was 87 at the time of his death:

As well as leading the A Question of Sport cast for 18 years and being the presenter of Grandstand for a decade, Coleman is noted for covering 11 separate editions of the Olympic Games and six World Cups over the course of a career spanning almost half a century.

Director General of the BBC Tony Hall led the tributes after Coleman's passing was announced, a BBC report quoting Hall's statement in light of Saturday's news:

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.

Coleman's way with words was the stuff of legend, his proficiency in spinning gaffes fluidly alongside more natural commentary is something that's yet to be recreated and arguably never will.

One of the commentator's most memorable moments came in calling the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Coleman's words—"It's Linford Christie!"—still resonate as some of the most recognisable in British Olympic history as the sprinter raced to a historic gold medal.

However, it was in the football sphere that the veteran truly came into his own, the line "One nil" arguably recognisable with no other voice than his and the description of Kevin Keegan's brace in the 1974 FA Cup final being something the football world will never forget: "Goals pay the rent, Keegan does his share!"

Born in Alderley Edge, Cheshire in 1926, the media marvel first appeared on air for the BBC in 1954, eventually retiring in 2000 following his work at the Sydney Olympic Games.

Coleman was a keen running enthusiast in his younger years but turned his attention to media coverage after suffering with injury in the 1950s, around which time he first started working for the BBC.

It was the beginning of a highly successful partnership, as Coleman's unending reserves of sports knowledge propelled him to become arguably the greatest broadcaster of this generation and indeed any other. 

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