Olympic-runner-turned-commentator Brendan Foster has hung up his microphone for the last time.
The former European 5,000m gold medallist and Commonwealth champion at 10,000m marked the end of his 37 years behind the microphone with a special presentation at the London World Athletics Championships yesterday.
The 69-year-old was awarded a commemorative picture frame featuring his most memorable moments, as well as a huge roar of applause from the crowd.
— IAAF World Champs (@IAAFWorldChamps) August 13, 2017
In his track days, Foster was named the 1974 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year after winning the 5,000m gold in that year’s European Championships, alongside setting a new world record for the 3,000m (7:35.1).
Foster also founded the annual half-marathon The Great North Run in 1981, which soon became one the biggest sporting events in the UK. In 2014, it became the first race in the world to achieve a million participants.
He retired from the track in 1980 and immediately became one of the leading voices in the BBC’s athletics coverage, commentating on every Commonwealth Games since 1982 and every World Athletics Championships since 1983. He’s also worked on every London Marathon since the event was incepted in 1981.
Fellow BBC sports team member Jake Humphrey and plenty of fans saluted Foster’s “class, ability and talent” on Twitter.
Bravo Brendan Foster. Longevity is the true barometer of class, ability and talent. The best in sport are visceral, and you're the best…????
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) August 13, 2017
Brendan foster aww????
— Seren Bundy-Davies (@serenbdavies) August 13, 2017
— Candice Ruffell (@CandiceRuffell) August 13, 2017
Didn’t realise Brendan Foster was hanging up the mic, think he’s been a good listen over the years. #GoodGuy
— Brian (@Stoneysnapper) August 13, 2017
Some voices are synonymous with sport. Brendan Foster and Athletics is one of them! Great memories of his commentary at London 2012
— Mr Mulloy PE (@MrMulloyPE) August 13, 2017
— Matthew Bird (@MatthewBird71) August 13, 2017
Don’t worry though, the microphone’s in safe hands, with fellow long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe becoming Foster’s natural successor, as seen in this pillow ceremony (we don’t get it either) as shown by Gabby Logan.
The baton of commentary was handed over…. pic.twitter.com/l3vtsa8j6Z
— Gabby Logan (@GabbyLogan) August 13, 2017