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Murray Walker Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of much loved Formula One and motorsport commentator Murray Walker today, aged 97.

Known by almost everyone as the voice of Formula One racing, Graeme Murray Walker OBE was without doubt one of the most distinctive, loved and admired sports commentators in broadcasting, lending his iconic tones to Formula One coverage full time from 1978 until his retirement at the conclusion of the 2001 racing season.

Known for his lovable enthusiasm and the occasion hilarious 'Murrayism', Walkers style behind the microphone was once described by Australian comedian Clive James as "even at his quietest, he sounds as if his trousers are on fire", such was the enthusiastic and engaging tones Murray Walker could bring to even the most processional of races.

Murray Walker 1.jpg

Murray Walker began his career in advertising (Walker devised the "Opal Fruits, made to make your mouth water." slogan), following retirement from Military service as a Royal Scots Greys Captain. In 1948 he made his debut in live motorsport broadcasting at the Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb, before performing radio broadcasting duties at the 1949 British Grand Prix - the year before the sport morphed into the Formula One we know today.

Loved by generations of motorsport fans, Murray Walker will forever be known as 'Mr. Motorsport' thanks to his enviable ability to bring the joy, passion and excitement into the living rooms of families throughout the world.


One of the absolute giants of the sport, gone but never, ever forgotten.

Thank you, Murray Walker - your time on this Earth has been one of great joy and success. Rest in peace sir, you've earned it.

Some particularly impressive Murrayisms:

"Unless I am very much mistaken.... I AM very much mistaken!"
"Mansell is slowing down, taking it easy. Oh no he isn't IT'S A LAP RECORD."
"This is an interesting circuit, because it has inclines. And not just up, but down as well."
"The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical."
"The most important part of the car is the nut that holds the wheel."
"I know it's an old cliche, but you can cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump."
"Tambay's hopes, which were nil before, are absolutely zero now."
"And there's no damage to the car. Except to the car itself."
"That's the first time he had started from the front row in a Grand Prix, having done so in Canada earlier this year."
"How you can crash into a wall without it being there in the first place is beyond me!"
"Excuse me while I interrupt myself"
"And the first five places are filled by five different cars."

Murray Walker.jpg

A selection of social media messages from motorsport personalities commenting on the sad news today:

All at RaceDepartment offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Murray Walker, who is survived by wife of 60 years, Elisabeth.
Not being from and English speaking country I did not have the opportunity to grow up to his commentary, but from snippets I have seen and heard online later I know it must have been great. May he rest in peace, join the late racing drivers in heaven. Condolences to his family, friends and all the people who's passion to motorsport was created partly by his voice.

UMC 22

Absolute legend. I grew up listening to him commentate F1 and it was never the same after he retired. No other commentator has come close to capturing the same enthusiasm, and reading through those "Murryisms" brought back good memories and still make me laugh.

RIP Mr Walker.

Edit: ^^"I'm going for first"... legend. :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:
Last edited:

Paul Glover

RaceDepartment Podcast Host
The word legend is thrown about far too much these days, but this man deserves that tag. Grew up watching him during my youth, he made F1 on the BBC and ITV.

A few years back whilst at the Goodwood Revival I saw the man himself sitting on some steps, never plucked up the courage to say hello and always regretted it.

He has been missed from our TV's for many years but always in our hearts, that will never change for me. RIP Murray Walker, bloody love you.
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