BBC Voice of Football Results James Alexander Gordon Dies Aged 78

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2014

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  A pink Nike Incyte ball is seen on the muddy pitch prior to the FA Cup with Budweiser fourth round match between Sheffield United and Fulham at Bramall Lane on January 26, 2014 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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James Alexander Gordon, reader of the BBC's classified football results for over 40 years, has died at the age of 78.

BBC's breaking news Twitter account reported Gordon's death on Monday:

The Scottish announcer first began reading results live on air in 1973, one year after joining the BBC, reported by Chris Johnston of The Guardian. He retired from duty with BBC Radio 5 Live in 2013 after having his larynx removed due to the onset of throat cancer, completing a remarkable four-decade stint in the role.

Gordon's recognisable style had a knack of revealing results before he could say the words. He added an inflection by "altering his tone of voice to indicate whether a result was a home or away win, or a draw," per BBC Sport.

"If Rangers had won I would feel happy for them so my voice would go up. If Celtic had lost I would feel sorry for them so my voice would drop," said Gordon in 2002.

BBC Sport posted an audio tribute to Gordon on Twitter:

Popularly known as "Jag" due to his initials, Gordon overcame many obstacles before enjoying his long and distinguished career. He contracted polio as a child, an illness which left him with a speech impediment and paralysed at just six months old. He was "in and out" of hospital until the age of 15, attended special schools and worked through life as an adopted child after his mother died in childbirth.

Gordon battled through such difficulties to become one of Britain's most iconic voices, a staple of each Saturday's radio broadcast at 5 p.m. His passing has understandably raised many tributes within the footballing community, where he is remembered as an icon.

Gary Lineker, former Tottenham striker and current host of the BBC's Match of the Day, led tributes on Twitter:

Former BBC and current BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey followed Lineker's lead:

Jeff Stelling, host of Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday show, also took to social media to pay his respects:

Gordon's legacy will continue to live on. His intonation and delivery remain a memorable part of many adults' childhood, while his loyalty to the job must be commended, especially as he broadcast during a time of major technological change.

He was one of the few radio workers whose voice never lost any of its prominence when satellite television became popular or instant results could be accessed on mobile phones. 

Former England captain Jimmy Armfield, who worked with Gordon on BBC Radio 5 Live, highlighted his old colleague as the "first point of contact" for those seeking the results, per BBC Sport. It is a testimony to his quality that this remained true for many up until his retirement last year.

Gordon is survived by his wife Julia, son David, and grandchildren Molly and Martha.