He wasn't universally loved and was often criticised for his mistakes, absolutely correctly.
But, his infinite passion for the sport (not just F1, by the way) and his ability to transmit that to millions of viewers was unmatched by any commentator in any sport, in my opinion. So many of the races he covered in the '80s and '90s were dull, in truth, much more so than the average Grand Prix today - and he is a big reason why so many fans believe the opposite to be the case.
It was at Silverstone when the BBC had a fan's programme immediately before the weekend of the 201? GP; we met in the car park in the way in. We exchanged a few pleasantries but I didn't have time to offer hin any advice.
extremely sad news, murray Walker was 1 of greatest sporting commentators of all time. his lines were iconic "colossusly thats mansell"
"its happened immediately"
"ive got to stop, as ive got a lump in my throat"
also Galahad your spot i was saying at work to people. that Bernie may have got it on tv but murray made it popular. i only saw his last 3 & half seasons live. then all the classic F1 over the years. but he made boring races exciting just through his vast enthusiasm, im sure he wouldve made final race of 2020 thrilling
also its an incredible legacy when you think that every English speaking F1 commentator past/present or driver of the last 25 years highly likely has been influenced & grew up listening to murray on tv
i always remember him telling a great line from Japanese GP. when the story broke that itv has taken the contract & there all asking him what he's going to do. knowing that he had the ITV contract
signed & sealed but under huge secrecy. he was telling people "it was probably the end who is going to want a doddery old fool like me. ITV will want something modern" genius misdirection
I was really sad that the pairing of Murray and Dr Jonathan Palmer didn't work out as a commentary team.
It was like being resuscitated by a defibrillator constantly for two hours.
Every time Dr Jonathan Palmer's voice sent you to sleep Murray's voice, like a chain saw through steel woke you back up again.
Dr Jonathan Palmer would be slowly describing how the angle between JJ Lehto's right tyre and a sponsorship sticker was 2 degrees from perpendicular when Murray would start screaming in abject panic that Eric Comas had been lapped 14 times and was now coming in to change tyres. Happy memories.