A voice synonymous with motorsport, an icon in the industry and more importantly a beloved commentator and family member, the sad news came over the weekend that Murray Walker has passed away at the age of 97. At TrackDays, we want to take some time today to remember him and his incredible impact on Formula 1 racing.
Murray himself had an absolutely astounding life. An alumni of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, he went from fighting on the front lines in World War II, to ultimately becoming one of the most beloved sports commentators to ever grace our ears for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
His contributions to Formula 1 are staggering; his infectious enthusiasm about the sport and impeccable timings made watching that bit more entertaining and added so much enjoyment to the audience experience.
This is no simple task, and was seemingly made possible from his noticeable passion for Racing and truly remarkable ability to commentate on Formula 1’s most emotional moments without a second's hesitation. He brought a sense of reality to our screens in a sport that often seemed to break barriers of what seemed humanly possible.
He was able to eloquently summarise moments in sports that will live on in history, and by doing so, his commentary will live alongside that. Most memorable moments in sport are often idolised because of the emotion they bring; coupling this with Murray’s heart warming and oftentimes adrenaline thrilled commentary and you have a match made in heaven.
Here at TrackDays, we can’t think of a commentator with more influence over a sport that is more beloved. He was referred to by so many simply as Murray, which really showcases how close the audience felt to his commentary and personality - like they knew him as a friend.
Alongside this, the many mispronunciations made him seem human. The excitement overwhelming him resulting in a small blunder made his commentary that much more unique and engaging. No matter what Murray seemed to do, it had a profound effect on the community, and most importantly he was the voice that kept viewers engaged making our sport as popular as it is today.
The legacy he has left behind will live on, and he will go down as one of the most influential figures in all of Formula 1 racing and in British Sport in general. So we say thank you to Murray Walker for his dedication, his wonderful voice and for being the soundtrack to many of our childhoods through to adulthood as we fell deeper and deeper in love with the wonderful sport of Racing. Rest in Peace Murray, we hope you had as much fun commentating as we did listening.