Australian cycling fans, riders and journalists have paid tribute to the commentator Paul Sherwen, whose broadcasts for SBS made him a much-loved figure far beyond the sport’s traditional audience. Sherwen’s death, at the age of 62, was confirmed on Monday.
One half of an iconic commentary duo, alongside Phil Liggett, Sherwen covered the Tour de France on 33 occasions, earning high praise for his knowledge, passion and dedication to the sport.
Highly regarded as a broadcaster, in 2017 the Wall Street Journal wrote of Sherwen and Liggett, “Their place is undeniable.”
“Liggett and Sherwen are an institution. For many, the mellifluous melody and harmony of Paul and Phil is the soundtrack of cycling.”
Sherwen was also a seven-time participant in the Tour between 1978 and 1985 and was a two-time British national champion.
But it was as part of SBS’s cycling coverage – not just of the Tour de France but also the Tour Down Under - that Sherwen became a much-respected and loved figure within Australian cycling, beginning with the network’s first Tour coverage in 1991.
Long-time SBS cycling anchor and presenter Mike Tomalaris led the tributes for Sherwen, alongside sprint legend Robbie McEwen.
Shocked to learn of the sudden passing of Paul Sherwen.
A former pro-cyclist who became a familiar voice for SBS audiences as a member of his partnership in commentary with Phil Liggett.
This was our last time together in July this year.
A true gentleman. RIP. pic.twitter.com/dGMpJdVpKe
— Michael Tomalaris (@miketomalaris) December 2, 2018
I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Sherwen. An absolute gentleman - I knew him for over 20 years & listened to him & Phil for almost 30. Always generous with his time, I learnt plenty working alongside him. My sincere condolences to his family & loved ones pic.twitter.com/lLTe0bDdXC
— Robbie McEwen (@mcewenrobbie) December 2, 2018
We’re heartbroken to hear the news of Paul Sherwen’s passing overnight. Paul was a fantastic friend & supporter of the #TourDownUnder & a true gentleman. Our condolences go out to his family, friends & colleagues.
You’ll be missed Paul. Vale.
More ➡️ https://t.co/SADGSA34NQ pic.twitter.com/y3uPBN1cFr
— Santos Tour Down Under 🚴🚴♀️ (@tourdownunder) December 2, 2018
Completely shocked and saddened to hear of Paul Sherwen’s passing. Met Paul in 1992 when he worked as our press officer for Team Motorola. He was always a class act and a great friend. My deepest condolences go out to his family. RIP Climber.
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) December 2, 2018