Can He Go All The Way?

The art of commentating on live sport has to be seen as a unique skill. Though in this day and age many seem to have got the job because the role needs filling and not that they possess the unique talent.

You often here the older generations state “oh its not like it use to be”, well in this case they maybe true.

The last of a golden generation are coming to the end of their prestigious careers and many have already retired. This is a unique group, better than a hall of fame as that doesn’t do them justice.

It is embarrassing to hear the current generation try their luck at this dying art, especially Jon Champion and Sid Wardle. For the curious amongst you my top five all-time commentators would be (a High Fidelity book quote) in no particular order would be:

  1. Ray French
  2. David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd
  3. John Motson
  4. Brian Moore
  5. Richie Benaud

What would yours be?

Ray would be my all-time favourite commentator despite a list of many contenders to the thrown. Ray has worked for the BBC since the early 80s and will be remembered for his a fantastic voice and quirky yet famous cliches. I knew his voice and name before I knew the sport existed.

This weekend sees the return of the Challenge Cup to our televisions as the competition reaches the Fifth Round stage and I will be watching as much as possible (I turn 30 on Monday so this weekend I may be pre-occupied, hint hint). I won’t be watching as much for the Rugby but more to hear Ray’s St. Helens’ tones and his cliches continue.

As my top five list shows, Brian Moore has sadly left us, Richie Benaud is semi-retired and John Motsons’ retirement is surely inevitable, with this in mind I hope Ray continues for many a year to come. Keep up the good work Ray.

So this weekend’s Fifth Round sees both Leeds and Bradford already knocked out and it should offer strong possibilities for the likes of Hull KR, Huddersfield, Castleford and Wakefield to reach the latter stages.

This has to be good for the sport, though fans of Wigan and St. Helens would not want me to forget them. My tip would be a Huddersfield versus Wigan final, though I do have a slight bias on this preference. Though fans’ of the sport have got to want to see a break-up of the same clubs winning everything in this sport.

But do fairy tales really happen?

“He’s going for the line!!”

“There’s the hooter!”



P.s. Congratulations to Ravi Bopara(143) for making his second test match hundred for England in the first test against the West Indies at Lords earlier this week and to Graham Onions whose test debut resulted in taking 5-38 & 2-64, hopefully they can now cement their places for the Ashes with continued assured performances.

Also a huge wish of good luck and fingers crossed for Middlesbrough to win the Tyne-Tees derby this coming Monday, on this point my bias is 100% behind Middlesbrough!

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