Award gives Tyler something to shout about

BBC Radio Leeds, a pair of independent film-makers and someone who has been commentating on live football for more than 40 years were among the broadcast category winners at the British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by BT Sport

Veteran sports broadcaster Martin Tyler was tonight named the SJA’s Sports Commentator of the Year, being described by the judges as “the voice of football”.

Martin Tyler: the SJA's Sports Commentator of the Year
Martin Tyler: the SJA’s Sports Commentator of the Year

Tyler was one of nearly 450 guests from across British media at the gala awards dinner staged at the Lancaster London, and where Sky Sports were celebrating as they won in four categories.

The broadcasting categories have been introduced relatively recently at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, which date back to 1976. And this is the first time that a sports commentator, whether working on radio or television, has been recognised with an award.

Tyler, 70, has been doing live football commentaries since 1974, and has been Sky Sports’ lead football voice since 1991. But tonight’s was his first SJA award.

The broadcast judges commended Tyler’s work, saying “he remains the man for the big occasion. He has the ability to deliver memorable lines”.

Cricket presenter Ian Ward was another Sky Sports winner, as the channel picked up the Television Live Broadcast award for its Ashes coverage.

BBC Sport’s Richard Conway was named Broadcast Sports Journalist of the Year for his much-praised reporting of the scandals in FIFA and the IAAF across three platforms – radio, TV and online. Conway “delivered big stories with major impact,” said the judges, who also praised the reporter’s “vast knowledge of sport” while being able to “explain complex issues in an accessible and inclusive way”.

Local radio out-did the national broadcasters in the Radio Sport Documentary, where BBC Radio Leeds were highly praised for its programme on the Bradford City fire.

And a pair of independent film makers, Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, also saw off better-known challengers including highly commended BT Sport and BBC Panorama with their gripping feature-length Television Sport Documentary, Death of a Gentleman, the result of more than two years’ investigations in how the vested interests which are suffocating Test cricket at the expense of Twenty20.

The SJA Winners 2015

Broadcast Sports Presenter
Winner: Ian Ward – Sky Sports
Highly Commended: Mark Pougatch – ITV Sport
Highly Commended: Jeff Stelling – Sky Sports

Broadcast Journalist
Winner: Richard Conway – BBC Sport
Highly Commended: Gabriel Clarke – ITV Sport
Highly Commended: Paul Kelso – Sky News

Sports Commentator
Winner: Martin Tyler – Sky Sports
Highly Commended: John Hunt – BBC Radio 5Live
Highly Commended: Clive Tyldesley – ITV Sport

Radio Sport Documentary
Winner: Valley Parade: The Bradford City Fire Remembered – BBC Radio Leeds
Highly Commended: The Blind Faithful – BBC Radio 5Live
Highly Commended: Cantona’s Kung Fu Kick – BBC Radio 5Live

Radio Sport Live Broadcast
Winner: Rugby World Cup – BBC Radio 5Live
Highly Commended: Live@Wimbledon Radio – IMG Media
Highly Commended: The Island Games – BBC Radio Jersey

Television Sport Documentary
Winner: Death of a Gentleman – Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber
Highly Commended: Catch Me If You Can – BBC Panorama
Highly Commended: One Day in May – BT Sport

Television Sport Live Broadcast
Winner: The Ashes – Sky Sports
Highly Commended: England vs France – ITV Sport
Highly Commended: FA Cup Final – BBC Sport

  • Rights-free images from tonight’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by BT Sport, are available from Getty Images.
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