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Murray Walker, Formula One Commentator, Diagnosed With Cancer

17/06/2013 21:07 BST | Updated 17/06/2013 22:19 BST

Former Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker has been diagnosed with cancer.

The 89-year-old revealed on Monday that he had a form of lymphatic system cancer, which was diagnosed during tests after a fall in which he broke his pelvis last month.

murray walker

Murray Walker with good friend and former F1 world champion, Nigel Mansell

"They've caught it incredibly early. It's treatable, the doctors say my condition is mild and I'm very hopeful," Walker told the BBC.

One of the most recognisable and well-loved personalities in F1, Walker commentated on the sport for more than 30 years, first with the BBC and then for ITV when the commercial network bought the broadcast rights in 1997.

Retiring in 2001, Walker has continued to keep his hand in with F1 and when the BBC won back the TV rights, he began working on a part-time basis with the channel.

He is to start a programme of chemotherapy later this month, coincidentally on the same weekend as the British Grand Prix.

News of his condition quickly spread on social media with messages of goodwill appearing on Twitter, including this from former F1 world champion, Nigel Mansell:

"Racing fans ,millions of them,all wishing Murray Walker best wishes for speedy recovery. Mansell family send their love get well soon Murray"

And Mansell's former Williams F1 team said: "Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the legendary Murray Walker. Get well soon from all @WilliamsF1Team".

Motor sport's governing body in the UK, the MSA, also wished him well, tweeting: "Very sad news that Murray Walker has been diagnosed with cancer. The MSA wishes him a full and speedy recovery" while Dunlop Motorsports said: "Best wishes to our former colleague Murray Walker in his battle with cancer".