‘Voice of F1’ Murray Walker OBE passes away aged 97

Legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker OBE has passed away aged 97.

Walker was known as the Voice of F1 having provided television commentary of coverage of the sport for the BBC between 1976 and 1996, and for ITV between 1997 and 2001.

He commentated on his first Grand Prix back in 1949 and was awarded an OBE in 1996 for his services to broadcasting and motorsport.

A statement from the British Racing Drivers’ Club read: “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 nations favourite commentator and a contagious smile.

“Murray will be sadly missed, his mark and voice will live on in motorsport and our hears forever.

“We thank Murray for all he has done for our community.

“Sending our love and thoughts to Murray’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“RIP our friend.”

A statement from Formula One read: "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."

Walker battled health problems in his later years.

He was diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma during tests in hospital after he suffered a fall while on a German river cruise holiday when he was aged 89.

Speaking in 2016, he made a heartbreaking admission he was not physically abl to attend races but vowed to keep his passion for the sport until his death.

Murray told the Mirror: "I am an old man, my legs aren’t what they used to be. You know four days of walking about at a Grand Prix is very hard work indeed.

“I would rather quietly stay at home. You certainly know what is happening if you are looking at the box because the coverage is so good and the graphics are so good, you miss nothing. And you can miss things if you are there.

“You never like to say never but I think I have been to my last Grand Prix.

“And do I like it? No I don’t. But you work with the hand you are dealt.

“I did a big piece at Silverstone that is going out as part of this weekend’s coverage. So I wont be there, but I will be there in spirit and on the box.

“I have always been passionate about it and I am sure I will be and will go on as long as I can put one foot in front of each other."

Martin Brundle, the former British star who enjoyed 11 seasons in F1, was among those to pay tribute to the icon.

He wrote: "Rest in Peace Murray Walker. Wonderful man in every respect. National treasure, communication genius, Formula One legend."

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Gary Lineker tweeted: "Saddened to hear that Murray Walker has passed away. A true broadcasting great and very much the voice of Formula 1 on @BBCSport for decades.

"The chequered flag may have been waved for the final time but he’ll always be remembered. RIP Murray."

BBC presenter Dan Walker added: "Loved listening to Murray Walker. What a voice. What a loss.

"His enthusiasm & attention to detail opened up the sport to millions. My thoughts are with his family & friends."

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