Former BBC and ITV commentator Gerald Sinstadt passes away at the age of 91, with tributes to the ‘best word writer’ who lent his voice at four World Cups in the ’70s and’ 80s.
- British sportscaster Gerald Sinstadt passed away at 91
- Sinstadt worked for the BBC and ITV covering some of the biggest moments in sport.
- He covered four World Cups, the 1972 Olympics and was at Hillsborough in 1989.
- A former Match of the Day editor described Sinstadt as the ‘best word maker’
British sportscaster Gerald Sinstadt passed away at the age of 91.
The announcer was one of soccer’s iconic voices for over 40 years and worked for the BBC and ITV throughout his career.
He covered four World Cups between Mexico 1970 and Spain 1982, commenting on the controversial semi-final between France and West Germany in the latter, while also reporting on the 1980 European Championships in Italy.
Sinstadt was also the BBC reporter on the pitch for the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, in which 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives in the soccer tragedy.
A statement from ITV Sport said Wednesday: “At ITV Sport, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Gerald Sinstadt, who was a brilliant broadcaster, as well as an influential and supportive figure for young people entering broadcasting.”
British sportscaster Gerald Sinstadt passed away at 91
Sinstadt (right with fellow commentator John Moston) was one of the iconic sports voices
Former Match of the Day editor Paul Armstrong tweeted about Sinstadt’s passing: “Very sad news. An excellent commentator and journalist, and the best copywriter with edited articles and summaries that I have ever met. And a lovely man too.
Born in Kent in 1930, Sinstadt’s reporting career began with the British Forces Broadcasting Service, before joining BBC Radio in the 1950s and 1960s, where he became deputy director of sports.
Sinstadt moved to television with Anglia Television in the mid-1960s before becoming Granada Television’s main football commentator in the North West, where he regularly covered the matches of the two Merseyside and Manchester clubs.
The announcer was ITV’s third-choice commentator behind Brian Moore and Hugh Johns, but he also dabbled in sports other than soccer, including the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Sinstadt covered many sporting events for the BBC and ITV, including four World Cups and the 1972 Olympics.
For ITV, he hosted the Friday night show ‘Kick Off’ and occasionally replaced Dickie Davies on the ‘World of Sport’ show. He also commented on golf for Channel 4 and covered the Oxford and Cambridge boat races before Barry Davies.
Sinstadt made a notable impact on the BBC icon Davies by bringing the announcer to the BBC after meeting him as a young lieutenant doing his national service. Sinstadt later ended up taking Davies’s position as a commentator for Northwest Grenada.
In the 1990s, Sinstadt did match recaps for Match of the Day, being called ‘Gerry’ by former host Des Lynam, and continued to report on the games for the BBC’s final scoring program well into the 21st century. .
He continued to be involved in football even in the last years of his life living in Stoke-on-Trent, serving as a Staffordshire member on the FA Council and as Vice President of the North Staffordshire Youth League.
Sinstadt (left) made summaries for the Match of the Day and continued to work into the 21st century.
The commentator’s voice could be heard at various iconic moments in sports history. Not only was he the voice of France’s controversial World Cup semi-final with West Germany in 1982, but he also covered Diego Maradona’s final goal at the 1994 World Cup before the Argentine was expelled from the tournament.
Sinstadt was praised for denouncing racist abuse against the late Cyrille Regis, the third black player to play for England, during West Brom’s 5-3 victory over Manchester United in 1978.
Members of the broadcasting and sports media industry paid tribute to Sinstadt after learning of his passing on Wednesday.
Members of the broadcasting community paid tribute to Sinstadt upon his passing.
Sky Sports commentator Gary Taphouse tweeted: “RIP Gerald Sinstadt, who passed away at the age of 91 – an instantly recognizable voice, and well known for numerous big goal calls over so many years.”
Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson posted: “As a kid I got Gerald Sinstadt’s autograph; when I grew up I received his advice. “Supersub strikes again” was one of the great comment lines, so simple, so accurate, so well delivered. Sad news. ‘
Commentator Nigel Adderley added: ‘Gerald Sinstadt was the voice of football from my childhood growing up in the Northwest. Great commentator and journalist. ‘Kick Off’ was a brilliant show: 6.30am on Friday meant only one thing.