James Alexander Gordon, the Voice of English Football Results, Dies, Aged 78

James Alexander Gordon, the voice synonymous with the reading of classified football results on BBC Radio, has died, aged 78.

Forty years after getting the job he was at first “terrified of” on BBC Radio to read out soccer results, James Alexander Gordon was forced to step down. The then 77-year-old was forced to retire from his beloved role due to an illness that affected the very part of his body that made him so famous.

Gordon was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2013 and had surgery to remove part of his larynx thus affecting his voice to such an extent that he couldn’t continue his job.

There are few voices in British football that are as recognizable and that stand out as much as that of James Alexander Gordon. Sky Sports’ Martin Tyler and Match of the Day commentator John Motson may both come close to being placed in this category but their job never involved reading out results every Saturday afternoon at 5pm on radio.

He had a certain endearing quality to his tone of voice that made the relatively mundane experience of listening to numbers enjoyable.

Having contracted polio whilst still a young child, the radio broadcaster spent much of his early years in hospital.

Now, a year after surgery to remove his tumor, James Alexander Gordon has succumbed to his illness aged 78 years. Last season, all BBC radio listeners felt a void on Saturday afternoons as they couldn’t listen to Gordon’s wonderful intonation of results.

This time, round, it’s his family and friends that will feel his void the biggest as a gentleman has left them after they had stood by his side for months of treatment.

Charlotte Green, the first ever female presenter to have this role, replaced Gordon in 2013 but for many generations, it’s the voice of the latter that we will remember as we recall past results of our favorite teams or classical results being read out on BBC radio.

Here’s an interview with one of the legendary voices of British football:

RIP James Alexander Gordon (1936-2014).


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