World of Sport

‘If that had gone in it would have been a goal!’: Classic gaffes from the legendary David Coleman

World of Sport

View photo


David Coleman's death marks the end of an era for many sports fans in Britain who grew up listening to his commentary on athletics and football, as well as watching him chair the BBC's popular Question of Sport quiz show for nearly 20 years.

Many figures from the world of sport have already paid their respects to a man who was indisputably one of the finest sports broadcasters ever to work in Britain.

[LINK: Legendary commentator David Coleman dies aged 87]

Coleman had a reputation for being a tough man to work with, however: he was once famously overhead on air shouting at a technician, "Trust you to make a balls of that" - a turn of phrase which prompted satirical newspaper Private Eye to name a column in his honour: Colemanballs.

The column was dedicated to printing the funniest gaffes, blunders and mistakes made by sports commentators in the heat of the moment - and given the sheer number of years he worked, it's no surprise that Coleman himself provided some fantastic material for the column.

So, in an affectionate spirit of fond memories for a man whose voice was an integral part of World of Sport's childhood, we present the very best Colemanballs by the master himself, David Coleman.

"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal."

"The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel."

"That's the fastest time ever run - but it's not as fast as the world record!"

"There's going to be a real ding-dong when the bell goes."

"And here's Moses Kiptanui - the 19-year-old Kenyan who turned 20 a few weeks ago."

"He just can't believe what's not happening to him."

"Morcelli has the four fastest 1,500 metre times ever. And all those times are at 1,500 metres."

"In a moment we hope to see the pole vault over the satellite."

"One of the great unknown champions, because very little is known about him."

"It's gold or nothing...and it's nothing. He comes away with the silver medal."

"He's 31 this year. Last year he was 30."

"Ingrid Kristiansen has smashed the world record, running the 5,000 metres in 14:58:09. Truly amazing. Incidentally, this is a personal best for Ingrid Kristiansen."

"He is accelerating all the time. The last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before in 62."

"Don’t tell those coming in the final result of that fantastic match, but let’s just have another look at Italy’s winning goal."

"Forest have now lost six matches without winning."

"For those of you watching who do not have television sets, live commentary is on Radio 2."

View comments (152)