The death of F1 commentary legend Murray Walker was announced today, he was 97.
Walker became the voice of Formula One and motorsport in general for UK audiences during a distinguished career of more than 50 years where his unbridled enthusiasm and obvious love of the sport won him legions of fans.
He was born in Birmingham on October 10 1923 and served during World War Two after graduating from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.
Working for the BBC and ITV, his unmistakable voice became the essential accompaniment to Formula One coverage on TV. Already a well known and popular broadcasting figure, he was installed as the BBC’s full-time F1 commentator from 1978 after James Hunt’s 1976 championship win, commentated on by Walker, elevated the popularity of the sport. Murray Walker covered his final race in 2001 when he retired following that year’s United States Grand Prix.
A statement from the British Racing Driver’s Club said: “It’s with great sadness we share the news of the passing of BRDC associate member Murray Walker OBE.
“A friend, a true motorsport legend, the nation’s favourite commentator and a contagious smile.
“We thank Murray for all he has done for our community. RIP our friend.”
The official F1 Twitter account tweeted: “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.”
Martin Brundle, often Walker’s co-commentator towards the end of his career wrote: “Rest In Peace, Murray Walker. Wonderful man in every respect. National treasure, communication genius, Formula One legend.”