James Alexander Gordon: Voice of football results dies, aged 78

James Alexander Gordon, one of the most recognisable voices in British broadcasting, has died aged 78.

Gordon read the classified football results on BBC radio for 40 years before stepping down in 2013.

Nicknamed ‘Jag’ because of his initials, Gordon attracted an army of followers with his distinctive Scottish accent and unique style of delivery. He would alter his tone of voice to indicate whether a result was a home win, an away win, or a draw.“Five Live and the football results have lost a friend today… He was something special” Jimmy Armfield.

Richard Burgess, head of BBC Radio Sport, said: “James was an iconic radio voice, who turned the classified football results on BBC radio into a national institution.

“He was also a true gentleman, who was loved and admired by his colleagues.

“He took enormous pride in his work and I know he was greatly touched by all the tributes he received upon his retirement last year.”

Former England captain Jimmy Armfield, a BBC Radio 5 live colleague of Gordon, was among the many football personalities to pay tribute.

“5 Live and the football results have lost a friend today,” said Armfield “I can remember before I joined and he came to the BBC that the style was more regimented. He put a different slant on to it. He went up with the voice and down with the voice.

“He seemed to pitch it just right. He did it all with perfect enunciation. That lovely voice, with the little trace of Scots in it, with the highs and lows. He knew when to lift it and put it down.

“He really was something special. People used to mark the pools coupon with the football results. James knew that. He always gave them time to find out whether it was 1, 2 or an X for the football pools.

“It wasn’t the same picture at all when he started out. There was no satellite broadcasting. Matches weren’t shown as they are now. Everything came down the line on the radio. He was the first point of contact for who had won. James knew it all. He had it all weighed up. He was the consummate professional.”

Mark Pougatch, as a presenter of Radio 5 live’s Saturday tea-time show Sports Report, introduced Gordon on many occasions, and tweeted:  “It was a honour to say your name on so many Saturdays Jag. Tonight it’s Heaven 1 Earth 0.”

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