As you’ve probably heard yesterday, David Coleman has died at the age of 87.
Had Brighton & Hove Albion’s one FA Cup Final appearance had been between 1973 and 1978, we may have enjoyed hearing the Cheshire-born broadcaster declare ‘One-Nil!’ as Gordon Smith’s opener sneaked past Gary Bailey in the Manchester United goal.
Instead, come May 1983, we were able to enjoy his splendid, bubbly presenting of BBC’s Cup Final Grandstand. Here’s the first nine minutes of the show that ran from the morning into the 3pm kick-off:
As you can see and hear, in the hot seat, he was in his element. Unsurprising, given his vast experience of managing various links and features with supreme aplomb. After all, he began presenting Grandstand in 1958 and continued to be its regular presenter for ten years. In 1983, Cup Final Grandstand featured a special edition of A Question of Sport, a show he regularly hosted for 18 years, plus reports from each finalist’s hotel. Coleman also interviewed Ron Atkinson and Jimmy Melia:
In an excruciating moment, he uses his knowledge to do a decent job at filling silence. This was during the crazy dash to find the Bob Beamon footage in this very inefficient prototype to YouTube:
Coleman also introduced footage of the Brighton’s team’s famous journey to Wembley via helicopter:
Quite remarkable, I’m sure you’ll agree, even if the Cup Final song wasn’t!