FOR SPORTS LOVERS in Ireland, he was the voice of a generation.
After a career that spanned over 60 years and took in no less than 10 Summer Olympic Games and 11 World Cups, RTÉ broadcaster and commentator Jimmy Magee has died at the age of 82.
It comes as no surprise that tributes have been pouring in for the man nicknamed ‘The Memory Man’ and RTÉ have released this obituary, which includes one of his iconic moments — the commentary of Diego Maradona’s goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.
“It’s an incredibly sad morning,” said RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent. “It’s hard to put it into words, the man meant an inordinate amount to so many people.
“I think he was the soundtrack to many generations that included Michael O’Hehir, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Fred Cogley and himself, they were the original commentators and the ones we looked to when there was a major sporting event.
“Jimmy holds his own with some of the most iconic memories in broadcasting in sport in this country and rightly so. He was an incredibly positive human being, I never heard Jimmy start a conversation in the negative and he took that into his professional life.”
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also paid his respects: “It is with great sadness that I learned today of the death of iconic sports commentator, Jimmy Magee.
“His commentaries were legendary and based on a breadth of sporting knowledge that was peerless. He also had an innate sense of timing which often meant that Jimmy’s descriptions of great events became as memorable as the events themselves.
For many Irish people, Jimmy Magee’s voice is the soundtrack of their sporting memories. From Maradona, to Michael Carruth, to Eamonn Coghlan and John Treacy and many, many more, he covered all the great events with a warmth, clarity and infectious enthusiasm.
“Jimmy was part of the very fabric of Irish sport. He lived and breathed it and would talk and reminisce and recall sport with anyone and everyone. Though Jimmy’s voice may now be silent, the wonderful memories brought to us by the Memory Man himself will live on forever.
And here’s a taste of the kind words that have been said about the man by colleagues and people who knew him well today…
Marty Morrissey (RTÉ reporter)
Tony O’Donoghue (RTÉ reporter)
Jacqui Hurley (RTÉ reporter)
Colm Cooper (Former Kerry footballer)
David Meyler (Ireland and Hull City midfielder)
Shay Given (Ex-Ireland goalkeeper)
Darren Frehill (RTÉ reporter)
Paul McGrath (Ex-Ireland international)
Fiona Ashe (Film directory and screenwriter)
Davey Oliver Joyce (Irish Olympic boxer)
David Gillick (Irish Olympic runner)
Alan Cawley (Former LOI footballer and RTÉ pundit)
Des Cahill (RTÉ broadcaster)
Source: RTĖ Sport/SoundCloud
St Patrick’s Athletic
The Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland
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