Twenty-five years on from ‘where were the Germans?’ in Seoul, and (astonishing to think) nine years since he commentated on his last football match for Match of the Day (which I couldn’t find on Youtube, but which did lead me, amusingly, to this), Dad has announced that he is retiring from the hockey commentary box as well.
The recent European Championships where England got a silver and the men were fourth coming “off-tube” (i.e. commentated on over the television rather than live at the event), and next year’s Commonwealths being a non-BBC production (Sunset and Vine will be in charge), combined to present an opportune moment to hang up the mike. So he sent a note to England Hockey which read, “Forty-one years have gone by since I first commentated on hockey – at the Munich Olympics, as deputy to Peter West. A year on from London 2012 in the company of Mel Clewlow and Sean Kerly, I have decided my role in the sport should be that of a spectator – arguably more important.
“The journey has been a lot of fun, with much British and English success, and I should like to thank the many people who helped me along the way. I leave ‘the box’ with a whole host of memories.”
That probably just leaves the Boat Race (where he commentates on the BBC’s world feed broadcast to those not in the UK) and Wimbledon, as well as the occasional appearance as a guest on various programmes on Five Live, as outlets for hearing his dulcets – assuming he keeps being asked, that is!
Unless, of course, there’s an opening ceremony or two to come, or anyone nabs his services for Rio next year or in 2016…!