Brendan Foster will retire from athletics commentary this summer – bringing to a close a 40-year career behind the mic.
After hanging up his running shoes following a fantastic track career that saw him win major medals at the European Championships, Olympics and Commonwealth Games, he became a broadcaster and has established himself as one of the country’s most iconic commentators.
But he will step down in August after working for BBC Sport on nine summer Olympic Games, every Commonwealth Games since 1982 and every World Athletics Championships since its debut back in 1983.
He will step down following the London World Championships in August but Foster will begin his ‘lap of honour’ commentating on this Sunday’s London Marathon – his 37th edition of the famous race.
To mark his outstanding contribution to the Marathon he’s also been chosen as the 2017 recipient of the John Disley London Marathon Lifetime Achievement Award. HRH Prince Harry, Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, will present Brendan with the award following the race on Sunday.
Foster said: “I have loved every minute of my time working for BBC Sport. It has genuinely been a privilege and I am very lucky to have done what I have done since my competitive career finished.
“My very first commentary was shortly after the 1980 Olympics at a Cross Country event at Gateshead and that’s when I started to work with the greatest sports broadcaster of all time David Coleman.
“David was just so professional and diligent and he taught me so much – from what to say and how to say it – and he also taught me that if you want to be a good commentator or analyst, you have to be prepared and do your research and work hard.
“After David retired, Steve Cram took over and working with ‘Crammy’ for almost 20 years has been so special too. It maybe because of our North East roots we developed a chemistry on air that worked so well. We have had so many special days, and those recently with Sir Mo Farah winning golds galore, particularly at the Olympic Games, are commentaries that stick out in the memory as we have witnessed true greatness. Mo’s achievements are unlikely to be beaten by any British athlete in history.
“I have commentated on some great races, run by some of the very best athletes of all time Seb Coe, Steve Cram, Paula Radcliffe, Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, David Rudisha and of course Mo. I have been lucky. It’s also been an honour to work with so many great people who have been a part of the BBC Athletics team – both in front of and behind the camera. I’ve made many friends and had so many great experiences along the way and I will miss it very much.
“This year is like a bookend for me. As an athlete 40 years ago I went to the Montreal Olympics aiming for a double-double in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and I was beaten in both races by the great Lasse Viren of Finland.
“This year, the greatest British athlete of all time, Sir Mo, will attempt his last double-double and it will be on the track in London where he famously won his Olympic golds. So for me as an athlete and a commentator it just seems the right time and the right place at a world championships in the United Kingdom to say thank you and goodbye.”
Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport, said: “Brendan’s knowledge, instinct, tone, timing and skill have been wonderful to listen to and he has given all of us so many great moments. His words and iconic commentaries will be heard for years to come. All of us at BBC Sport will miss Brendan and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Foster will continue his work with Nova International and the Great Run series.
Source : Chroniclelive