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That dispute revealed a hard-headed side to the man whose affability is one of the ingredients which make the Coleman-chaired A Question of Sport, with its Pringle pullovers and pub repartee, a cosy long-running success.

In 1984, he won the Television and Radio Industries Club award as Sports Presenter of the Year and, in 1992, he was awarded an OBE. He finally retired from broadcasting in 2000. Tributes

After he had fronted Grandstand for a decade, he moved to a midweek slot with Sportsnight (1968-73), though later returned to the Saturday programme. From the early 1970s he was the BBC's senior football commentator, and from the early 80s concentrated on athletics. He brought a businesslike geniality to chairing A Question of Sport (1979-97); the programme's only other two presenters have been David Vine from its start in 1970, and Sue Barker till the present. He was also a co-host of the BBC Sports Review of the Year (1961-83). From Fern Britton asking if a guest’s great grandfather had any children, to Anthea Turner urging people to use cars as fridges, to Geoffrey Boycott saying Indian police have “atomic weapons”, 2010 has been a vintage year. Fantoni, Barry; Larry (1996). Private Eye's Colemanballs: No. 8. Private Eye Productions. ISBN 978-0-552-14521-3. More or less since the inception of the BBC's regular outside sports broadcasts, Coleman's was the voice that brought the event into the living room. He anchored Grandstand and Sportsnight long before anyone had ever heard of Frank Bough or Desmond Lynam. He was the first commentator whose voice proclaimed that he neither attended a public school nor pretended to have done. Born in Cheshire on 26 April 1926, although his family originally hailed from County Cork, Coleman went to a local grammar school and became a keen amateur runner, winning several national cross-country championships as well as the Manchester Mile. Coleman began presenting Grandstand in 1958

While Colemanballs are primarily associated with David Coleman's athletics commentaries, gaffes are to be found in most other sports, here some of Will and Guy's collection. Football is like a roundabout. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you're down Radio 5 Live reporter I've never been so certain about anything in my life. I want to be a coach. Or a manager. I'm not sure which. Fantoni, Barry; Larry (2002). Private Eye's Colemanballs: No. 11. Private Eye Productions. ISBN 978-1-901784-30-5.Fantoni, Barry; Larry (2010). Private Eye's Colemanballs: No. 15. Private Eye Productions. ISBN 978-1-901784-54-1. By the age of 22 he was editing a local newspaper in Cheshire, with hopes of developing his running career. Ingrid Kristiansen then has smashed the world record, running the 5000 metres in 14:58.89. Truly amazing. Incidentally, this is a personal best for Ingrid Kristiansen. David Coleman Nowhere was his dedication and knowledge better illustrated than at the teleprinter as the football results came in. Lord Sebastian Coe, two-time Olympic 1500m champion: "He was just incomparably the best. It wasn't just that he carefully choreographed intro pieces, but he could always capture the moment."

When the fledgling BBC television service resumed after the second world war, it was still very much the corporation's junior service, available only in parts of the south-east, with its performers recruited occasionally from radio, though more usually, it seemed, from the officers' mess or the old boy network. Certainly, up in Cheshire, young Coleman had never seen television as a boy. His route was to be journalism's traditional one.I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe: “Listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker. You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5ft 11in, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that. You are going to have to be the most dogged, determined fighter anyone has ever seen on the tennis court if you are going to make it,” and she kind of is. Fantoni, Barry; Larry (2004). Private Eye's Colemanballs: No. 12. Private Eye Productions. ISBN 978-1-901784-36-7.

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