• Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

'Voice of Formula One' Murray Walker dies aged 97

  • Published at 08:27 am March 14th, 2021
Murray Walker

Walker, who served in the Second World War, became a Formula One icon during more than 30 years as a commentator for the BBC and ITV

Murray Walker, the British broadcaster regarded as the 'Voice of Formula One', has died aged 97.

Walker, who served in the Second World War, became a Formula One icon during more than 30 years as a commentator for the BBC and ITV.

Known for his passionate vocal style while commentating, he reported on his first Grand Prix for BBC radio at Silverstone in 1949.

Walker became a full-time F1 commentator in 1978 and only hung up his microphone when he retired in 2001 after a 52-year broadcasting career.

"So sad to hear of Murray's passing. I remember growing up hearing your voice over the races," said seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"You made the sport so much more exciting and captivating. The iconic voice of our sport and a great man, thank you for all you did, you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace."

From James Hunt's 1976 championship triumph over Niki Lauda at a rain-lashed Fuji, to Ayrton Senna's intense rivalry with Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell's 1992 title glory, Walker's voice was synonymous in the UK with some of F1's most memorable moments.

When Britain's Damon Hill took the chequered flag at Suzuka to win the Japanese Grand Prix and become world champion in 1996, an emotional Walker said during his commentary: "I have got to stop because I have got a lump in my throat."

Walker graduated from Sandhurst's Royal Military College and went on to command a Sherman tank in the Battle of the Reichswald in World War Two.

He left the Army after the war and eventually joined the BBC, where he was handed commentating duties after an explosion of interest in Formula One following Hunt's 1976 triumph.

Walker battled health problems in his later years.

He was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma during tests in hospital after he suffered a fall while on holiday when he was aged 89.

F1 led the tributes to Walker on social media, tweeting: "We are immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away.

"His passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world. He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed."

McLaren, Britain's most successful F1 team, said: "Like millions of F1 fans, all of us at McLaren are deeply saddened by the news that Murray Walker has passed away.

"He brought our sport to generations by sharing his passion and knowledge with humour and humility. Our thoughts are with all who had the fortune to know him."

Murray attracted a legion of fans for both his knowledge of the sport and colourful, verbal slip-ups which formed part of his legacy.

Amongst these were: "There's nothing wrong with the car except it's on fire", "Now excuse me while I interrupt myself", "I'm ready to stop my start watch" and "Unless I'm very much mistaken... I am very much mistaken!"

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail