Former commentator Sinstadt dies at 91

Gerald Sinstadt (second right) with Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore while conducting a program for the BBC World Service in 1968

Former television commentator Gerald Sinstadt died at the age of 91.

Sinstadt’s work for the BBC and ITV made him one of the most recognizable voices in soccer broadcasting in the 1970s after starting at Granada Television.

From 1970 to 1982, he covered four World Cups for ITV and later worked on the Olympics for the BBC.

“He was a craftsman, a very good commentator and a charming man,” said Andrew Clement, who worked with Sinstadt at the BBC for about 30 years.

While football commentators often overlooked racist taunts from the stands during the 1970s, Sinstadt was one of the first to report the abuse during his comment, such as during West Brom’s 5-3 win at the Manchester United in 1978.

He commented on many other iconic games from that period, including Denis Law’s heeled goal for Manchester City against United in 1974 and Liverpool’s victory in the quarterfinals of the European Cup second leg against St Etienne in 1977. .

He also covered West Germany’s victory against France in their controversial 1982 World Cup semi-final and Diego Maradona’s goal in the 1994 World Cup before his expulsion from the tournament.

After rejoining the BBC in the 1980s, Sinstadt was the court reporter on the day of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and appeared in Jimmy McGovern’s 1996 television documentary drama about the tragedy.

He also pinned rower Sir Steve Redgrave winning the first four of his five Olympic gold medals and the boat race for the BBC.

Sinstadt was a regular on Football Focus, Match of the Day, and Final Score until his retirement. Towards the end of his career, he was often asked to write and deliver obituaries with Clement.

“It taught me a lot,” said Clement, executive producer of BBC Sport. “He was very generous with his time and was a wonderful mentor to many of us when we started on television.

“He was a fantastic word maker, especially paying tribute to some of the game’s greats in obituaries.

“His use of language was second to none and he was brilliant at putting words to images. He used to be involved in editing, which was rare in those days. If I produced a shot for him, he would bring it to life with a perfectly chosen phrase or image. He he created his pieces. “

Born in Folkestone in Kent, Sinstadt began his career in 1949 with the British Forces Broadcasting Service, where he met Barry Davies.

Upon his return to the UK, Sinstadt helped Davies join him on BBC Radio, where the former worked in the 1950s and 1960s, both of whom became two of the most recognizable voices in sports broadcasting in the early 1960s. 1970.

Sinstadt also commented on golf for Channel 4 and in 1987 was the first to voice the long-running Trans World Sport program. Outside of sports, he also produced television shows about his other great passion, opera.

Having settled in the Potteries, after his retirement, Sinstadt continued to write a weekly column for the Stoke Sentinel until 2019.

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