David Coleman (1926 - 2013)

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  • "The BBC has lost a giant of broadcasting. Watching the..."
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David Coleman (Associated Press) David Coleman in the 2013 Memorials Photo Gallery Enlarged Photo
LONDON (AP) — David Coleman, a British sports broadcaster who covered 11 Summer Olympics for the BBC and six World Cups, has died. He was 87.

A family statement Saturday said he died with family at his bedside after a short illness. No other details were disclosed.

Coleman retired from the BBC in 2000 after covering the Sydney Olympics. He became the first broadcaster to receive an Olympic Order medal to recognize his contribution to the Olympics.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater described Coleman as "one of broadcasting's most authoritative and identifiable voices that graced so many pinnacle sporting moments." Slater added that in Coleman's BBC career of more than 40 years "he set the standard that so many others have tried to emulate."

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Sad to hear David Coleman has died — the voice of BBC Sport for as long as I can remember."

Coleman's breathless style of commentary invariably led to gaffes and he was frequently lampooned. He was the subject of a regular column in the satirical magazine Private Eye, with its "Colemanballs" feature documenting commentators' gaffes to this day. Coleman was said to like the title and one of his own gaffes included, "That's the fastest time ever run, but it's not as fast as the world record."

Paula Radcliffe, the women's marathon world record holder, called Coleman "a true master in his field and voice to so many of our iconic sporting moments."

Former England soccer star Gary Lineker tweeted that Coleman was "a giant of sports broadcasting. Brilliant, gifted, precise and concise."

Coleman was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to broadcasting in 1992.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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