Murray Walker, the legendary Method 1 commentator, has handed away aged 97.
Extensively considered the Voice of F1 in a motorsport commentary profession that spanned greater than 50 years till 2001, Walker was a family identify each in Britain and all over the world.
“It is with nice unhappiness we share the information of the passing of BRDC Affiliate Member Murray Walker OBE,” mentioned the British Racing Drivers’ Membership in an announcement.
“A pal, a real motorsport legend, the nations favorite commentator and a contagious smile. We thank Murray for all he has completed for our group. RIP our pal.”
Relaxation in Peace Murray Walker. Fantastic man in each respect. Nationwide treasure, communication genius, Method One legend.
— Martin Brundle 💙 (@MBrundleF1) March 13, 2021
Martin Brundle started his commentary profession subsequent to Walker at ITV in 1997 and mentioned: “Relaxation in Peace Murray Walker.
“Fantastic man in each respect. Nationwide treasure, communication genius, Method One legend.”
Walker, who commented on his first grand prix on the radio in 1949, was recognized for his high-octane commentary type and was as identifiable with the game because the drivers.
“He was a beautiful character, at all times so energetic, stuffed with enjoyable and optimistic enthusiasm. All of us liked him,” mentioned Brundle, who commentated alongside Walker for 5 seasons after ending his lengthy profession as an F1 driver.
“In a excessive degree sport, the place you’re universally liked and revered and regarded, I’d assume is sort of uncommon as a result of that is the type of character he was, he was so good at what he did. He had a ardour for Method 1 that’s nearly unsurpassed. The entire of our sport can be massively saddened by this information.”
David Croft, Brundle’s fellow Sky Sports activities F1 commentator, tweeted: “Relaxation in Peace Murray Walker, a gentleman and a legend in each sense of the phrase.
“It was an honour to know you, a delight to spend time in your organization and galvanizing to hear and be taught from you. THE voice of Method 1 and at all times can be. Thankyou.”
Relaxation in Peace Murray Walker, a gentleman and a legend in each sense of the phrase. It was an honour to know you, a delight to spend time in your organization and galvanizing to hear and be taught from you. THE voice of Method 1 and at all times can be. Thankyou xx
— David Croft (@CroftyF1) March 13, 2021
In an announcement, Method 1 mentioned: “We’re immensely unhappy to listen to that Murray Walker has handed away. His ardour and love of the game impressed tens of millions of followers all over the world.
“He’ll without end be part of our historical past, and can be dearly missed.”
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton tweeted:
So unhappy to listen to of Murray’s passing. I keep in mind rising up listening to your voice over the races. You made the game a lot extra thrilling and fascinating. The enduring voice of our sport and a terrific man, thanks for all you probably did, you’ll by no means be forgotten. Relaxation in peace🙏🏾
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 13, 2021
Silverstone, in the meantime, mentioned Walker “introduced the game and a few of its biggest moments to life in a means that ensured they remained seared in our recollections for ever”.
Murray Walker: 1923-2021
Born Graeme Murray Walker in October 1923, Murray Walker skilled an extended and various profession even earlier than turning into a full-time commentator.
Having been quick approaching his 16th birthday on the outbreak of World Battle Two, the younger Murray volunteered to hitch the forces and, after finishing his officer coaching at Sandhurst, joined a tank regiment within the Royal Scots Greys to serve his nation.
Following the tip of conflict, he rejoined Dunlop, the place he had accomplished a enterprise scholarship some years earlier, to start what would show a massively profitable profession in promoting – which lasted all the way in which as much as 1982.
However the lure of motorsport would finally show too sturdy and would ultimately result in him down the trail in the direction of turning into a family identify across the English-speaking world.
In reality, it ought to have been little shock contemplating his father, Graham, was a despatch rider in the course of the First World Battle and went on to each race in, and finally commentate on, bike racing.
Though he initially tried to carve out his personal racing profession on two wheels, Murray Walker the commentator – or on this case the PA announcer – was first heard at a hill climb occasion in 1948. Requested to face in for the general public deal with announcer, Murray unsurprisingly shone and a yr later was making his sports activities broadcasting debut for actual at Silverstone for the British GP on BBC Radio – a yr earlier than the F1 World Championship was shaped.
Like tens of millions of F1 followers, all of us at McLaren are deeply saddened by the information that Murray Walker has handed away.
He introduced our sport to generations by sharing his ardour and information with humour and humility. Our ideas are with all who had the fortune to know him. pic.twitter.com/0NBS1KWxpE
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 13, 2021
He continued to mix his twin id – promoting government by weekday and passionate motor racing fanatic and commentator on the weekend – over the next few a long time with commentaries throughout the spectrum of motorsport from F1 to TT racing earlier than the function that may finally come to outline him took place within the late 1970s because the BBC determined to vastly develop its TV protection of the highest degree of motorsport.
Selecting Murray to entrance its new Grand Prix programme was a masterstroke and over the subsequent quarter of a century his distinctive commentary type grew to become a part of the material of the game.
Our ideas exit to his household and mates at this troublesome time. We’ll miss you Murray and we are able to solely log out by drawing on certainly one of his most legendary items of commentary…
And we have got to cease. As a result of we have got a lump in our throat 😢 pic.twitter.com/12x1zXjrOB
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 13, 2021
As did, famously, what affectionately grew to become recognized over time as his assortment of ‘Murrayisms’ – the affectionate errors or slips of the tongue that added, quite than detracted, to the viewing expertise.
Certainly his commentaries at all times got here from the center, no extra so than when pal Damon Hill took the chequered flag at Suzuka in 1996 to emulate his father in successful the world championship and Murray quietly knowledgeable tens of millions that “I’ve acquired to cease as a result of I’ve acquired a lump in my throat”.
His two most well-known and long-running commentary partnerships would show equally good worth for viewers. Though initially apprehensive concerning the look of the flamboyant James Hunt alongside him within the commentary field, the pair struck up a well-known double act for over a decade previous to the 1976 world champion’s premature demise in 1993.
Murray’s relationship with Martin Brundle proved equally well-liked after the UK’s F1 TV rights, and the ‘Voice’ himself, transferred to ITV at the beginning of the 1997 season to start an sudden new period in his unbelievable broadcasting profession.
Greater than 50 years after his commentary debut at Silverstone, Murray was nonetheless fascinating F1 audiences as the brand new century dawned. However conscious that he needed to retire whereas nonetheless on the prime of his sport, on the finish of the 2001 season and simply two years shy of his 80th birthday, he hung up his microphone for the final time after commentating on that yr’s US Grand Prix.
Right now we are saying farewell to one of many greats of our sport, Murray was the voice of F1 for therefore a few years, he put his coronary heart and soul into commentating. The legend will at all times reside on in our recollections however at present in Murray’s phrases “I’ve acquired to cease as a result of I’ve a lump in my throat” pic.twitter.com/Z10RcslkGk
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) March 13, 2021
He later even grew to become a Honda F1 ambassador and was a well-liked attendee of F1 occasions even after passing the age of 90, together with his well-known enthusiasm for the game undimmed.
As his successors within the commentary field ever since have remarked, it is a pointless job attempting to emulate Murray Walker.
He was a real one-off.
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