Famed racing commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan died at home in London after a long illness on this day in 2015.
O’Sullevan, known as “the voice of racing” was 97 years of age and enjoyed a long and illustrious career.
He was the main racing commentator for the BBC from 1948 until 1997, calling 50 Grand Nationals before his retirement.
Known for his sharp mind, even well into his later life, he had a delivery like no other and his description of the 1977 Grand National, which was Red Rum’s famous third success, and Desert Orchid’s popular Cheltenham Gold Cup victory in 1989 will never be forgotten.
Incomparable, irreplaceable, indelible. Sir Peter will never be matched & never forgotten. The ultimate pro & the definition of a gentleman
— Clare Balding 💙 (@clarebalding) July 29, 2015
He was awarded a knighthood before his 50th and final Grand National commentary and even until just before his death was still a regular visitor to the Cheltenham Festival. His work continued as he raised millions of pounds for charities.
He also worked for the Daily Express and the PA news agency as a racing journalist.
The BBC’s director of sport at the time Barbara Slater said: “Synonymous with the sport, his distinctive commentary graced many of racing’s historic moments – from Red Rum’s Grand National victories to Desert Orchid’s extraordinary Gold Cup triumph.
“Peter was a legendary commentator and will be greatly missed.”