Racing: TV commentator Raleigh Gilbert dies

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The Independent Online
THE racing commentator Raleigh Gilbert has died. A broadcaster for 40 years, he was found dead on Sunday.

His brother Geoffrey confirmed: "He was found dead by the police at about 3.00pm. We don't know when he died and there will have to be a post-mortem and an inquest."

Gilbert, who was due to celebrate his 62nd birthday last Saturday, had missed his latest intended commentating shift at Wolverhampton on 21 February.

Walter Raleigh Willock Gilbert rode as an amateur in Kenya in the 1950s and started in journalism as racing correspondent for the East African Field And Farm in 1956 before moving to the Sunday Post in Britain.

He began his broadcasting career in 1958 with Racecourse Technical Services and became the first man to commentate at every racecourse in the country.

Gilbert worked briefly for the BBC in the early 1970s before moving in 1972 to ITV, for whom he also reported on greyhound racing and even polo. He stayed with the Channel 4 team until 1996.

He was a founder commentator with Satellite Information Services in 1987, covering the Chester Cup on the day the service was launched.

Gilbert a also provided radio voice-overs and mock commentaries for television dramas.