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Veteran sports broadcaster DAVID COLEMAN, who covered 11 Olympic Games and six football World Cups for the BBC, "has died after a short illness at the age of 87," according to Stephen Addison of REUTERS. Coleman "presented some of British television's leading sporting programmes," including Grandstand and Sportsnight, and was the host of the Question of Sport quiz show for 18 years. He was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in '92 and retired from the BBC in '00 (REUTERS, 12/21). DEADLINE reported Coleman "made his Olympics commenting debut in 1960" (DEADLINE, 12/21). In London, Vanessa Thorpe wrote Coleman was a "dominant voice of television sport for almost four decades." Presenter GARY LINEKER called him "a giant of sports broadcasting. Brilliant, gifted, precise and concise." BBC Dir General TONY HALL said, "David Coleman was one of this country's greatest and most respected broadcasters." BBC Dir of Sport BARBARA SLATER said, "His was one of broadcasting's most authoritative and identifiable voices." Perhaps the "Lord of the Larynx's" greatest skill, according to veteran Guardian sports writer FRANK KEATING, was his "race-reading of successive Olympic 100 metres finals -- identifying eight men tearing straight at him in a 10-second blur." But Coleman's "most important journalistic work" came after the 1972 Munich Olympics murders, in what Keating called "his prolonged and sombre vigil, working off just one distant fixed camera" (GUARDIAN, 12/21).
CLASSIC COLEMANBALLS: In London, Nick Greenslade reported 1976 Olympic 10,000M Bronze Medalist BRENDAN FOSTER called him “the greatest sports broadcaster that ever lived.” Liberal Democrat MP and former athlete MENZIES CAMPBELL said, "In the 1960s and 70s, no Olympic Games was complete without the commentaries of this remarkable broadcaster." Inevitably, Coleman "had his share of on-air gaffes which led to the satirical magazine Private Eye dubbing its collection of commentator howlers Colemanballs." Famous entries from Coleman included: “A truly international field, no Britons involved” and “That’s the fastest time ever run but it’s not as fast as the world record.” He was "even given the dubious honour of appearing in puppet form in the Spitting Image series." Some of his "Classic Colemanballs" include: “He just can’t believe what’s not happening to him.” “It’s gold or nothing ... and it’s nothing. He comes away with the silver medal.” “The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel.” “Nobody has ever won the title twice before. He (ROGER BLACK) has already done that” (SUNDAY TIMES, 12/22).
Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro has hired PAULO AUTUORI as its new coach "two days after losing in the Club World Cup in Morocco." Atlético President ALEXANDRE KALIL "confirmed the hire of Autuori in a statement on the team's website" (EFE, 12/20). ... Englishman PAUL FARBRACE, who was wounded in the '09 shooting attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus, "was appointed the head coach of the national side on Friday." Farbrace is replacing South African GRAHAM FORD, "who had already announced plans to stand down after an ongoing series against Pakistan." Farbrace, a former assistant coach to the Sri Lankan team under TREVOR BAYLISS, "was wounded along with seven Sri Lankan players in March 2009 when a dozen gunmen opened fire on their bus in Lahore, Pakistan" (AFP, 12/20).
Tocopilla, Chile "has wanted to name one of its streets after" Barcelona player ALEXIS SÁNCHEZ "for a long time, and now the city has decided which one." The Tocopilla city council "conducted a survey in which 32% of voters chose Cuarta Poniente street over five other streets as the one that will one day be named after Alexis Sánchez" (SPORT, 12/21). ... Bayern Munich's FRANCK RIBERY was "named Man of the Year by German football magazine Kicker." Ribery "won the same award in '08" (EFE, 12/22). ... Tennis player DAVID FERRER said on Sunday that he "has split" with coach JAVIER PILES "after a 15-year working relationship" (EFE, 12/22). ... Pirelli Motorsports Dir PAUL HEMBERY admitted the "Italian manufacturer was hurt by Red Bull's criticism of its tyres during the 2013 Formula 1 season." Red Bull dominated the championship, "with Sebastian Vettel taking nine wins in a row after the summer break." Hembery "believes Red Bull's criticism weakened Pirelli's position, and admitted it was disappointing to see it, especially during such a dominant campaign." Hembery: "That was very disappointing as they had clearly dominated and won the championship so convincingly -- that was really the opening up of a lot of comment and debate that really shouldn't happen" (AUTOSPORT, 12/22). ... Olympic Gold Medalist triathlete HAMISH CARTER will look to help New Zealand athletes "in his new role at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ)." Carter, who won a Gold Medal in the triathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics, "has been appointed Performance Planning Manager at HPSNZ where he will work with selected coaches and athletes aiming to win medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games" (High Performance Sport New Zealand). ... New Zealand rugby player SONNY BILL WILLIAMS "is returning to ruby union" in '15, having signed a "two-year deal with New Zealand Rugby and the Chiefs." He is "eyeing a berth at both Rugby World Cup 2015, with the All Blacks, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with the All Blacks Sevens." Williams was a "key part of the Chiefs' Super Rugby championship-winning side" in '12, but he was not "involved in this year's repeat after returning to rugby league" (ESPN, 12/20). ... Former League One Gillingham Manager MARTIN ALLEN “is the favourite to take over” for AIDY BOOTHROYD as Northampton manager. A club spokesperson said, “The board of directors just felt it was time for a change” (LONDON TIMES, 12/22). ... U.K. Anti-Doping Agency CEO ANDY PARKINSON will head the eight-member team that will monitor drug-testing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Drug testing at the games is run by the IOC (AP, 12/19). ... Int’l cricketer GRAEME SWANN has retired “with immediate effect.” The 34-year-old spinner, who has played in all three Tests in which England have been outplayed in Australia, announced his decision Sunday morning. With England “having surrendered the Ashes so meekly, there had been speculation that some senior players, including Swann, would be dropped or might consider retirement.” However, the suddenness of Swann’s announcement in the middle of the series “will have surprised many” (SUNDAY TIMES, 12/22).
British PM DAVID CAMERON: "Sad to hear David Coleman has died - the voice of @BBCSport for as long as I can remember."
BBC R2 host DERMOT O'LEARY: "Sad to hear about David Coleman. Always a favourite in the O'Leary household growing up."
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