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Former broadcaster Coleman dies aged 87

ESPN staff
December 21, 2013
David Coleman covered six football World Cups © PA Photos

Former sports broadcaster David Coleman has died aged 87 after a short illness, his family have confirmed.

Coleman was a mainstay on the BBC, covering 11 Olympic Games from Rome 1960 to Sydney 2000 and six football World Cups after first appearing for the corporation in 1954.

One of his most notable broadcasts during this time was during the armed siege during the 1972 Munich Olympics and the subsequent memorial service days later.

He was awarded an OBE in 1992 and presented some of the BBC's leading sports programmes, including Grandstand and Sportsnight, as well as being host of Question of Sport for 18 years.

Coleman's name is also associated with is the popular "Colemanballs" Private Eye column - a phrase coined by Coleman himself which was adopted by the satirical newspaper in his honour to describe verbal gaffes perpertrated by British sports commentators.

"We regret to announce the death of David Coleman OBE, after a short illness. He died peacefully with his family at his bedside," said his family in a statement.

BBC director general Tony Hall led the corporation's tributes.

He 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."

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