David Coleman, legendary voice of BBC sports, passes away

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Way, way before NBC and before English football rights were divied up among British media elements, there was BBC and not much else.

And one of the main voices on BBC (even before its athletics content was branded “BBC Sport”) belonged to David Coleman.

Coleman, died today in England at age 87.

This piece from The Telegraph says Coleman was “widely acknowledged as the definitive voice of British sport.” And that means lots of soccer … “football” in his native parlance, of course.

In fact, it means football at a time when England was in higher regard, the day of the 1966 World Cup triumph, etc. Coleman’s was the voice on countless FA Cups and World Cups for BBC before he retired from broadcasting after the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Below is a short tribute to the man, and it includes some wonderful, vintage soccer clips. Don’t miss Coleman’s call on the Gordon Banks save off a Pele header in the 1970 World Cup; Coleman might not have known it at the time, but it would go on to be widely regarded as the greatest save of all time.