Gerald Sinstadt - former BBC &...


Gerald Sinstadt - former BBC & ITV commentator - dies

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Gerald Sinstadt - a veteran of English football broadcasting - has died at the age of 91. 

Sinstadt's voice will be familiar to viewers of BBC's Match Of The Day and Football Focus, while older readers may remember his previous work with ITV.

He began his broadcasting career in 1949 with the British Forces Broadcasting Service where he would meet future colleague in commentary, Barry Davies.

During a rare interview in 2000, he recalled his first ever commentary: "It was a cup game between an English and Scottish regiment," he said.

"The match was full of goals and excitement and finished 7-6. The game made my job easy and I thought hang on, I can do this.

"Unfortunately, I soon realised you couldn't just turn up on the day and hope for the best.

"If you don't do your proper research the listener will soon catch you out."

Sinstadt's television career began with Anglia Television during the 60's, while from 1969 to 1981 he served as Granada Television's chief football commentator.

While working for the ITV network, he covered every World Cup from 1970 to 1982.

During that time, Sinstadt - as West Brom legend Brendan Batson later recalled - was one of the few television commentators to highlight racist chants emanating from the terraces. One particular instance came during West Brom's 5-3 win away to Manchester United in December 1978.

He would move on to the BBC in the 1980s, becoming a staple on Match Of The Day and Football Focus. He would also commentate at major tournaments, often serving as no.3 to his old Forces colleague Davies and John Motson.

"He was a craftsman, a very good commentator and just a lovely man," said his BBC colleague of 30 years, Andrew Clement.

"He was very generous with his time and was a wonderful mentor to a lot of us as we started off in television.

"He was a fantastic wordsmith, particularly when paying tribute to some of the greats of the game in obituaries.

"His use of language was second to none and he was brilliant at putting words to pictures. He used to sit in on the edit, which was rare in those days.

"If I produced a shot for him, he would bring it to life with a perfectly chosen phrase or image. He crafted his pieces."

Along with Clement, Sinstadt would much later in his career pen and voice tributes to former colleagues like Tony Gubba.

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BBC Barry Davies Gerald Sinstadt ITV John Motson Match Of The Day The Big Match

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