Murray Walker, who was known as the voice of Formula 1, has died at the age of 97.
Walker commented on the sport from 1949 to 2001 as it grew from an amateur sport typically taken up by rich aristocrats to a fully professional sport that travelled the globe and attracted millions of television viewers worldwide.
Graeme Murray Walker was born on the 10th of October 1923 to Graham Walker, one of the finest pre-war motorcycle riders of his generation, before retiring in 1935.
Walker initially wanted to follow in his father's footsteps but believed he wasn't talented enough and became a tank driver in World War Two, followed by a stint in advertising until he retired at 59.
His Grand Prix commentary came at the 1949 British Grand Prix. He was paired up with the legendary tennis commentator Max Robertson before covering the Isle of Man TT with his father until his passing in 1962.
He then commentated on Grand Prix racing permanently for the BBC in 1978, where he would be alongside James Hunt in the commentary booth until the latter passed away in 1993 with Jonathan Palmer joining Walker in the commentary box until 1996 before ITV paired him with Martin Brundle in 1997 forming a superlative double act that would last till the latter's retirement.
Walker was known for his Murrayisms which would see him make occasional bloopers live on-air, along with his excitable commentary style that was described by the late Clive James "as a man broadcasting whose trousers were on fire".
His style, which saw him stand when covering the race, made him a household name and was popular with fans and drivers alike, including a long friendship with Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell.
However, in an era where motorsport was dangerous, Walker also had to cover the darker side of the sport, and that included the death of Ayrton Senna which he would later say was the hardest event he would have to cover due to the severity and graphic nature of Senna's injuries.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth.
Portugal 1985, and Ayrton Senna’s first F1 win…— Formula 1 (@F1) March 13, 2021
An iconic voice, and so many unforgettable moments captured. Rest well, Murray. pic.twitter.com/G0AUwBOBXW