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Remembering Murray Walker – the Voice of Formulation 1 – The Checkered Flag


For myself rising up as a Formulation 1 fan, the primary voice of the game I knew was of Murray Walker.  His enthusiasm for the game was second to none, and he made you need to watch even probably the most boring of races.

The legend handed away late final week aged ninety-seven, leaving a sport in mourning.  He was universally appreciated by everybody within the paddock, one thing that’s extraordinarily uncommon in a world stuffed with wolves.  He will probably be sorely missed by those that knew him and by others, like me, who grew up listening to him on TV.

I first watched Formulation 1 again in 1988, the San Marino Grand Prix, and it was the combo of Walker and James Hunt that welcomed me into the game.  The McLaren F1 Workforce might have dominated the yr, however Walker’s commentary was very good, even when I used to be solely seven or eight years outdated myself.

I keep in mind his commentary of the notorious conflict between Ayrton Senna and Jean-Louis Schlesser on the Autodromo Nazionale Monza that denied McLaren a clear sweep of race wins that yr, nevertheless it gave Scuderia Ferrari an emotional one-two end simply weeks after the demise of Enzo Ferrari.

Later within the yr, Senna took victory on the Suzuka Worldwide Racing Course with a surprising comeback drive after virtually stalling on the grid, with the win giving him his first World Championship crown.  And Walker’s commentary was becoming for the event.

A yr later, Senna’s conflict at Suzuka with team-mate Alain Prost was commentated expertly by Murray, as was their first lap accident on the identical monitor one yr later.  All through these early years, Murray’s commentary ensured I used to be hooked onto the game I now maintain a pricey place in my coronary heart.

Through the time I used to be watching Formulation 1, he commentated on Senna Vs. Prost, Nigel Mansell’s World Championship, Michael Schumacher vs. Damon Hill, Schumacher vs. Mika Hakkinen.  He actually coated greats of the game and aided their legacies with that keenness. 

The Murrayisms

Sure, there have been errors. The ‘Murrayisms’ as they have been popularised, have been simply a part of the event.  He wasn’t criticised for them, it was a part of what made Murray particular.  Listed below are only a pattern of my favorite ‘Murrayisms’…

“Only some extra laps to go after which the motion will start. Until that is the motion, which it’s!”

“This has been a fantastic season for Nelson Piquet, as he’s now recognized, and all the time has been.”

“Schumacher’s attraction for ignoring the chequered flag is subsequent Tuesday.”

“Andrea de Cesaris…the person who has gained extra Grands Prix than anybody else with out truly profitable certainly one of them.”

“And this will probably be Williams’ first win, since final time a Williams gained!”

“Tambay’s hopes, which have been nil earlier than, are completely zero now.”

“Ukyo Katayama is undoubtedly the most effective Formulation 1 driver that grand prix racing has ever produced.”

“And we’ve got had 5 races up to now this yr, Brazil, Argentina, Imola, Schumacher and Monaco!”

“He’s clearly gone in for a wheel change. I say clearly as a result of I can’t see it.”

“And an infinite hole constructing earlier than Mika Hakkinen goes via in third place…once I say monumental it’s 1.5 seconds”

“Now the Frenchman Jacques Lafitte is as near Surer as Surer is to Lafitte.”

“…and there’s no injury to the automotive…..besides to the automotive itself.”

“The automotive in entrance is completely distinctive – apart from the one behind it, which is similar.”

“That is an attention-grabbing circuit as a result of it has inclines, and never simply up, however down as nicely.”

“Do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna’s Lotus sounding tough?”

The Legacy

Murray continued to commentate proper via till 2001, persevering with to point out his enthusiasm each race weekend, whether or not it’s for the BBC or for ITV.  When Damon Hill gained the 1996 title Murray was overwhelmed with emotion. 

He raised the bar when it got here to commentating, and lots of the present crop can solely aspire to be pretty much as good as him. Sure, they’re all good, little doubt about that, however they don’t seem to be Murray Walker.  And this isn’t simply in Formulation 1, commentators in different sports activities too all look as much as him and his fashion.

There isn’t a doubt that in my eyes that with out Murray Walker, Formulation 1 wouldn’t have been as common in the UK, and I think about elsewhere too, with out that enthusiasm folks wouldn’t have cared as a lot a couple of sport that I really feel is the most effective sport on the planet.

The very fact he was seventy-eight when he stepped away from the commentary field confirmed simply how a lot ardour he held for the game. He cherished the game, and the game cherished him.

Goodbye Murray.


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