Murray Walker: Veteran And Formula One Broadcasting Legend Dies Aged 97

The Second World War veteran had become known as the voice of elite motorsport.

Legendary Formula One (F1) commentator Murray Walker has died at the age of 97, after a career in broadcasting and with the military.

Mr Walker, who passed away on 13 March, had become synonymous with F1 through his commentary and had served with the British Army during the Second World War.

After completing his officer training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he joined a tank regiment in the Royal Scots Greys.

He fought in the Battle of the Reichswald in 1945, and was at Belsen concentration camp after it was liberated.

Going on to pursue a passion for motorsport, following a role in advertising, Mr Walker commentated on his first grand prix event at Silverstone in 1949.

The veteran became known as the voice of F1 and a widely adored figure in motorsport, but remained fond of his roots in the forces even after retiring from his broadcasting role in 2001.

Speaking to Jon Knighton from Forces News at the Armed Forces Rally Team's annual dinner in April 2014, Mr Walker encouraged "young, virile, competitive" personnel to get involved in motorsport.

Handing out the same trophy his veteran father had done years before, he explained his family's military history.

"My father was in World War One, he was the youngest Sergeant Major in the British Army at the time," said Mr Walker.

"He was a dispatch rider, he was wounded. When he came out of the Army he became a very successful motorcycle racer."

The broadcaster added that his father "commissioned a trophy, and it was to be awarded in 1938 to the best British Army team in the International Six Days Trial".

"It was won by the Royal Tank Regiment team, which was quite interesting actually, because I ended up, in the war, in tanks myself."

Mr Walker's excitable delivery behind the microphone solidified his iconic status throughout the sport – fans warming to infamous gaffes and hilariously-timed lines of commentary.

Jon Knighton was one of many to pay tribute to the veteran broadcaster, saying: "A true legend and perhaps the last of the great BBC TV sports commentators.

"Although Murray Walker will always be known as the 'voice of Formula One', he had a special affinity with our forces who loved him and his company. It was my privilege to have met him."