Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He'll be the toast of Netherdale tonight, I tell you

So sad to hear about the passing of Bill McLaren, one of the handful of greats who turned TV/radio sports commentary into a kind of art form. As with his peers, it was very often not so much what he said but the way he said it - the rhythms of his voice were magically in harmony with the rhythms of the game. As an example, his commentary on Wales' last-gap winning try against England in 1999 (which handed Scotland the last ever Five Nations Championship) was little more than a staccato repetition of Scott Gibbs' name - "A-burst-by-Scott-Gibbs, Scott-Gibbs-is-through, Scott-Gibbs-has-scored" - and yet somehow was the perfect piece of commentary.

In a sense, McLaren's legacy lives on, with two of the people he partnered in the commentary box, Eddie Butler and Jonathan Davies, now having developed into fine commentators in their own right. Even if Jonathan Davies does have the annoying habit of excitedly shouting out "numbers", only for absolutely nothing to happen...


  1. James.

    I see you're having a scrap at PB.
    I'd pile in but seem to be subject to restricted posting rights at the moment.

    I was looking forward to a debate on the NHS today where I fought with you and the Tory herd simultaneously.

    Good Luck


  2. Thanks, Tim. Your absence certainly isn't going unnoticed by the Herd!