LONDON (AP) — British sports broadcaster David Coleman, who covered 11 Summer Olympics for the BBC and six football World Cups, has died, his family said Saturday. He was 87.
Coleman retired from the BBC in 2000 after covering the Sydney Olympics. He became the first broadcaster to receive an Olympic Order medal to recognize his contribution to the Olympic movement.
"We regret to announce the death of David Coleman OBE, after a short illness he died peacefully with his family at his bedside," Coleman's family said in a statement Saturday, which didn't provide the day of death.
BBC director of sport Barbara Slater described Coleman as a "giant" of broadcasting.
"In a BBC career that spanned over 40 years he set the standard that so many others have tried to emulate," Slater said. "His was one of broadcasting's most authoritative and identifiable voices that graced so many pinnacle sporting moments."
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Sad to hear David Coleman has died — the voice of BBC Sport for as long as I can remember."
Coleman's breathless style of commentary invariably led to gaffes and he was frequently lampooned by satirical TV program "Spitting Image". Coleman also found himself the subject of a regular column in satirical magazine Private Eye, with its "Colemanballs" feature documenting commentators' gaffes to this day. Coleman was said to like the title and one of his own gaffes included, "That's the fastest time ever run, but it's not as fast as the world record."
The announcement of Coleman's death drew tributes from across the sporting world.
Paula Radcliffe, the women's marathon world record holder, said: "RIP David Coleman. A true master in his field and voice to so many of our iconic sporting moments."