If he hadn’t died he would still be alive

I learned that legendary sports commentator David Coleman, who commentated on major sporting events with his foot in his mouth for over forty years, had died when on opening my email today I found this compliation of classic Colemanballs. I don’t know where it originates from but guess it will be going viral over the weekend.

Let’s enjoy some memories of the inimitable and much imitated style of the man.


“That’s the fastest time ever run – but it’s not as fast as the world record.”

“A truly international field, no Britons involved.”

“The Republic of China – back in the Olympic Games for the first time.”

“And the line up for the final of the Women’s 400 metres hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede and a Frenchman.”

“Don’t tell those coming in the final result of that fantastic match, but let’s just have another look at Italy’s winning goal.”

“He’s 31 this year – last year he was 30.”

“He just can’t believe what’s not happening to him.”

“In a moment we hope to see the pole vault over the satellite.”

“He is accelerating all the time. The last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before that in 62.”

“The late start is due to the time.”

“It’s gold or nothing … and it’s nothing. He comes away with the silver medal.”

“There is Brendan Foster, by himself with 20,000 people.”

“Forest have now lost six matches without winning.”

“He’s even smaller in real life than he is on the track.”

“The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel.”

“And here’s Moses Kiptanui – the 19-year-old Kenyan who turned 20 a few weeks ago.”

“This could be a repeat of what will happen in the European games next week.”

“If that had gone in, it would have been a goal.”

“This evening is a very different evening from the morning we had this morning.”

“He’s seven seconds ahead and that’s a good question.”

“I think there is no doubt, she’ll probably qualify for the final.”

“I have the feeling she (Manuela Machado) is an athlete who likes to get away from the opposition.”

“Nobody has ever won the title twice before. He (Roger Black) has already done that.”

“He’s got his hands on his knees and holds his head in despair.”

“Both of the Villa scorers – Withe and Mortimer – were born in Liverpool as was the Villa manager Ron Saunders who was born in Birkenhead.”

2 thoughts on “If he hadn’t died he would still be alive

  1. They eventually took him off air when his entertaining balls-ups became unrecognizable due to increasing speech slurring due to a degenerative brain condition that, judging by the above, must have started at a quite young age, lol. Iconic sports event ranter extraordinaire he was hey.
    Correct about the imitation too, the guy who took over track & field commentary at the Beeb ( Ron Pickering was it? )’s voice sounds uncannily almost exactly like old DC.

    btw I won all of a fiver off of Private Eye in the 80s for a Colemanballs contribution. Almost as good as your heading here; from a R4 Brian Johnson summary of an England innings from some international Test Match or other.
    ” ..and a typically dogged 42 from Jack Russell.”

    Still got the cheque framed on me wall, how sad is that.


    • Love the Jack Russell line – hate Jack Russells, my brother in law used to have one that he’d bring round ans wind up so it would go for my wife’s evil cat . The cat won every time (she was very evil)and he’d start complaining that we should throw it out when he broght the dog. Why? We didn’t want to see the stupid, yappy little cur and the kids hated it. What’s more he had never tried throwing Cleo out of a warm dry house on a cold wet afternoon.


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