Richie Benaud has been chosen by the Daily Mail as the greatest sports commentator of all-time.
The former Australian Test captain and doyen of cricket commentators was selected from a top 50 chosen by the Mail‘s sports desk.
Second choice was golf master Peter Alliss, with the “quite remarkable” David Coleman rated third-best for his athletics and football commentaries, having given the world the catchphrase, “One-nil!”
Also rated in the top 10 was Barry Davies, a regular host at SJA events, ranked ahead of his BBC colleague John Motson apparently because of his versatility. The Mail relates that Davies once “modestly admitted that he was a ‘Jack of all trades, master of bugger all’.”
But Davies’s commentary on the 1988 Olympic hockey final has earned him a place in the all-time top 10 for this turn of phrase after Britain’s decisive goal against Germany: “Where were the Germans … but quite frankly who cares?”
Benaud, though, takes the supreme plaudits. According to the Mail: “A man who mastered the art of silence. How often would Benaud bring something new, something different to the table? Simply brilliant and who can forget: ‘Straight into the confectionary stall and out again’.”
The SJA is celebrating its broadcasting colleagues again with its sports broadcaster and sports programme of the year prizes at the British Sports Journalism Awards on March 9.
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