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Five Moments of Murray Magic

Murray Walker, F1's legendary commentator, has died aged 97.


Walker commentated on motorsport for over 50 years, becoming F1's regular commentator from 1978 until his retirement 2001. His all-action style conveyed pure excitement and joy to millions of fans worldwide.


Murray's unique voice and personality remains timeless and is fully immersed into motorsport history, with his frequent errors affectionately becoming known as 'Murrayisms'. Here are just five of the countless moments of magic that Murray gave us and which we will continue to enjoy for years to come.



Japan 1996 - 'I've got to stop, because I've got a lump in my throat'

Damon Hills' career was intertwined with Murray, who had a 'self confessed soft spot' for Damon. The two provided us with a truly hilarious advert for Pizza Hut in 1996, with Murray commentating on Hill eating a pizza and proclaiming 'And Hill finishes second - again!'


It was at the final round of the 1996 season at Suzuka, though, that Hill would in fact finish first, and in doing so taking the Drivers Title. Murray became more and more animated as Hill came round the final few corners, and as Hill took the chequered flag Murray exclaimed the iconic line 'I've got to stop , because I've got a lump in my throat' - encapsulating the whirlwind of emotions around Hill's world championship, finally sealing the title after missing out by a point in 1994, and following in his father Graham's footsteps to become the first father-son pairing to both become world champions.


Watch the moment here.



Austria 1987 - 'You've got an enormous bump on your head...ooh I'm sorry '


Hill's triumph was preceded by 'Mansell Mania' - fellow Brit Nigel Mansell's no nonsense attitude and exciting racing style gripping the nation as he tried and failed to secure a world title in the late 1980s before finally taking the crown in 1992. Murray was there to capture it all in his own way, saying himself that Mansell gave him more exciting moments to commentate on than any other driver such as the tyre blowout that cost Mansell the 1986 title.


Murray got too close to the action after the 1987 Austrian Grand Prix. Mansell, who had won the race, bashed his head on a girder en route to the podium whilst stood up in a courtesy car , leaving him with a swollen head bump. During the post race interview, Murray asked Mansell to 'carefully and slowly' take his hat off to show the cameras the bump, before inexplicably proceeding to touch it. Mansell flinched and Murray immediately apologised, with no harm done, but it created another golden 'Murrayism.'


Watch the iconic interview here.


BTCC Silverstone 1992 - 'I'm going for first, said John Clenham'


Murray was passionate about all things motorsport, not just Formula 1. His father was a successful motorcyclist, winning the Isle of Man TT, and it was on two wheels that Walker first commentated, alongside his father for the BBC in the 1950s.


Murray also commentated on the British Touring Car Championship, and it's from this series that one of his very best moments came from. At Silverstone in 1992, John Clenham was clearly unhappy with the BMW of Steve Soper, who had just passed him, and stuck up his middle finger in the cockpit as clear as day. Murray's response - 'Im going for first, said John Clenham' - was timed to perfection and if there was ever a moment to reflect Murray's unique style, this is surely it.


Watch and listen here.



1983 - ' Stop the Startwatch'


There are too many 'Murrayisms' enshrined into F1 folklore to mention, but this one is arguably his most famous gaffe whilst commentating alongside the late James Hunt - an unlikely pairing that had initial friction but which turned out to be an inspired duo, with Hunt's bluntness adding a new dimension to Murray's enthusiasm and creating more weird and wonderful moments.


As Nelson piquet came in for a pit-stop, Murray exclaimed 'I'm going to stop the startwatch and the wheels stops'. What more is there to say?


Watch from 0.16 here.


1999 San Marino - 'Off off off off off goes Mika Hakkinen!'


Murray Walker was foremost a fan of motorsport, with his infectious enthusiasm often leading to an approach more passionate than professional.


One brilliant example of this was the complete shock of Mika Hakkinen crashing out of the lead of the 1999 San Marino GP, whilst seemingly in control of the race. Murray captured this perfectly with his almost panicked reaction.


Watch the crash and commentary here



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