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F1 commentary legend Murray Walker dies at 97

Jeff Bloxham/Motorsport Photos

Initially reported on by Chris Medland

Method 1 commentary legend Murray Walker has handed away on the age of 97.

The Englishman began out in commentating within the Forties and his first grand prix commentary was the 1949 British Grand Prix. He labored extra commonly in motorbike racing earlier than turning into the BBC’s full-time F1 commentator in 1978. Syndication noticed Walker’s voice heard in quite a few territories and his distinctive type grew to become synonymous with the game in lots of nations.

Walker grew to become notorious for his energetic, passionate supply but additionally many endearing errors of complicated traces that grew to become as ‘Murrayisms’ as he labored alongside the likes of James Hunt, Jonathan Palmer and Martin Brundle.

After almost 1 / 4 of a century within the function, Walker retired from full-time commentary duties in 2001 however continued to be concerned within the sport, occurring to offer some additional radio commentary, common BBC columns and commentating on the Australian Grand Prix for the native broadcaster, in addition to getting concerned within the Grand Prix Masters sequence within the mid-2000s.

In 2013, Walker fell whereas on vacation in Germany and broke his pelvis, with the incident resulting in him being identified with most cancers. The illness was caught early and he introduced he not required chemotherapy later that 12 months.

Walker returned to Method 1 by way of Channel 4’s protection in the UK — showing in options and interviews — as his involvement continued into his ’90s, however he had stepped again in recent times previous to the British Racing Drivers’ Membership asserting his passing on Saturday.

“It’s with nice disappointment we share the information of the passing of BRDC affiliate member Murray Walker OBE,” the BRDC introduced. “A good friend, a real motorsport legend, the nation’s favourite commentator and a contagious smile. We thank Murray for all he has accomplished for our neighborhood. RIP our good friend.”

There have been tributes from each present and former drivers because the information broke, with Brundle describing him as a “Method 1 legend” and two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen saying he’s “deeply saddened” by Walker’s passing.

“We’re immensely unhappy to listen to that Murray Walker has handed away,” an announcement from Method 1 added. “His ardour and love of the game impressed tens of millions of followers around the globe. He’ll perpetually be part of our historical past, and will likely be dearly missed.”

1996 world champion Damon Hill — who’s victory led Walker to ship the enduring line, “And I’ve bought to cease, as a result of I’ve bought a lump in my throat” — tweeted: “Godspeed Murray and thanks for a lot. The legend won’t ever die.”