ENTERTAINMENT

Peter O'Sullevan Dead: BBC Horse Racing Commentator Dies Aged 97

29/07/2015 18:05 BST | Updated 29/07/2015 18:59 BST

The ‘voice of horse racing’ Sir Peter O’Sullevan has died at the age of 97.

The BBC commentator passed away at his home in London on Thursday (29 July), following a long battle with cancer.

peter osullevan

Peter O'Sullevan

Peter became an icon in the horseracing world, after working on 50 Grand Nationals and over 14,000 races while working as the BBC’s chief commentator from 1947 to 1997.

He was also known as the Daily Express’ horse racing correspondent - a position he held for 36 years.

After he retired from commentating in 1997, Peter received a knighthood from the Queen and was the only sports broadcaster at the time to have been bestowed that honour.

peter osullevan

Peter at work in his early career

While in retirement, Peter also helped raise £3.5m for equine charities.

BBC Sport's racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght lead the tributes to Peter, telling Radio 5Live: "Meeting your heroes normally comes with a warning, but there was no need to worry with Sir Peter O'Sullevan.

"His honeyed tones were the rhythmic racing backdrop to my upbringing, the comforting BBC voice in the corner calling home thoroughbreds. Big races brought big stories and 'the Voice of Racing' knew how to deliver.

"Even through illness, he was bright, funny and dignified. The ultimate gentleman, who will be deeply missed."

BBC horse racing presenter Clare Balding also posted on Twitter: "Incomparable, irreplaceable, indelible. Sir Peter will never be matched & never forgotten. The ultimate pro & the definition of a gentleman."

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