BBC broadcasting great David Coleman dies at 87

Last Updated: 21/12/13 6:41pm

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David Coleman: Died at the age of 87

David Coleman: Died at the age of 87

Sky Bet

Sports broadcaster David Coleman has died at the age of 87.

The renowned athletics commentator worked for the corporation 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.

Coleman presented Grandstand and Sportsnight and between 1979 and 1997 he hosted a Question of Sport.

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.

He was the first broadcaster to receive an Olympic Order medal in recognition of his contribution to the Olympic movement.

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."

Primer Minister David Cameron said on Twitter: "Sad to hear David Coleman has died - the voice of @BBCSport for as long as I can remember."

The BBC's director general Tony Hall said: "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."

Bill Beaumont, the former England rugby union captain, was a team captain on

a Question of Sport for 14 years.

He said: "It's a very sad day and this is very sad news. David was the doyen of sports broadcasters. He had a magnificent voice, loved sport and had an incredible depth of knowledge. He set the standards for others to follow.

"I spent 14 years working with him on Question Of Sport and knew him before then through Grandstand. We spent lots of time together over the years and he was a lovely man as well as a great family man."

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