Belfast Telegraph

Tributes for the voice of Irish sport Jimmy Magee, dead at age 82

By Staff Reporter

The Republic's President and many of Ireland's top sport stars have paid tribute to legendary commentator Jimmy Magee.

The veteran RTE journalist, known as the 'Memory Man', died yesterday at the age of 82.

His voice was synonymous with some of Ireland's greatest sporting triumphs across 12 World Cups and 11 Olympic Games, including the moment that Wicklow woman Katie Taylor became the first ever Olympic female lightweight champion at London 2012.

Taylor yesterday described Magee as a "gentleman".

"Jimmy Magee - a voice that will never be forgotten in Irish sport. A great character, a gentleman and my biggest supporter," the gold medal winner tweeted.

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given also posted about his sadness, describing Magee as: "One of the best commentators of Irish sport ever."

Former world boxing champion turned promoter Barry McGuigan said: "My heartfelt sympathies to the family of the legendary Jimmy. RIP. Amazing commentator and a great man."

Aogan O Fearghail, the president of the GAA, said: "Jimmy's sad passing represents the end of a golden era in Irish broadcasting and few, if any, will ever come close to reaching the standards he did across so many sports."

In a statement yesterday, Irish President Michael D Higgins said: "He will be missed by all those who appreciate and care for the world of sports."

Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt, a former UTV journalist, described Magee as an "inspiration".

"Sad to hear of passing of Jimmy Magee, the 'Memory Man' and legendary RTE sports commentator. An inspiration to those who followed," he tweeted.

Some of Magee's greatest moments on air included calling home John Treacy to silver medal success at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Barry McGuigan's world title fight in Loftus Road in 1985 and Taylor's triumph in London.

The journalist was also one of the first people to arrive on the scene of the IRA bombing of Nelson's Pillar on Dublin's O'Connell Street in 1966.

Magee had been ill before his death. He was born in New York and raised in Co Louth.

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