Brian Moore, voice of football, dies at 69

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The Independent Football

Just hours before English football's greatest triumph since 1966, Brian Moore, one of its most famous commentators, died at his Kent home. He was 69.

For more than 30 years he was one of the most popular wearers of a sheepskin coat ever to grace the commentators' gantry. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson, a colleague for many years, said: "I don't think there is anyone in the world of football, and football is a big world, who had a bad word to say about him."

Moore came from a modest background in rural Kent; his parents were farm labourers. He began his journalistic career sub-editing for World Sports, then worked on the Exchange Telegraph for two years and The Times for three.

In 1961 Moore became a presenter for BBC Radio and commentated on the 1966 World Cup Final. He joined ITV in 1968 and commentated on its flagship Midweek Sports Special from 1978 until 1986. Moore was ITV's "voice of football" for 31 years until his retirement at the end of the 1998 World Cup final in France. He then made a comeback on Sky Sports in 1999.

Although others in his trade have been more associated with the gaffes to which all narrators of swift sports are prone, Moore had his share. His most famous was an undiplomatic reference to the underdog status of the Saudi Arabia team: "Everybody thought the Saudis were coming here as chopping blocks."