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).

8 thoughts on “James Alexander Gordon, the Voice of English Football Results, Dies, Aged 78”

  1. Probably means nothing to our Yank brethren and perhaps only ex-pats of a certain age will be sad at this news.

    A man whose velvet tones made even a result like

    Stenhousemuir 0 Partick Thistle 0

    Seem like a great game! RIP.

  2. I remember listening to the football results in my dad’s Ford Cortina car radio on Saturday evenings, circling the results I got right. Great memories from a great voice.

    1. My dad had a dark green Ford Capri. But what a classic car the Cortina was. That was the car they drove in the TV show, “The Professionals.” Good times!

      1. Bodie had the Capri. Doyle drove an Escort RS2000.

        Ford had some great cars in the 70s. Don’t forget the Granada mk1 and mk2 made famous by The Sweeney!

  3. In the days before the ubiquity of the internet and cable; when access to football results States-side could literally take weeks; hearing Mr. Gordon on my cracking short-wave radio, rattle off results of the league pyramid, including the postponed matches, on a Saturday afternoon or in the wee hours of the morning, was a godsend. He will be missed.

  4. Back in the day to find out what the results were in Scotland and the lower leagues this was must see viewing on Saturday afternoon.

    I remember my uncle’s checking out their betting stubbs listening to this with the hope they made a few quid.

    Truly a passing of one of the greats that influenced many.. And yes many in the USA will not know of the experience .. But it was truly an influential part of the football experience in the UK.


  5. For those that have never heard JAG there’s a few clips on Youtube. From a perspective of authenticity NBC would have been after him were he a younger man.

    An unexpected and probably reluctant icon of British football and sports broadcasting.

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