David Coleman

David Coleman - Updated Feb 2023

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Updated On December 18, 2022

David Coleman is a British longtime BBC sports personality. David Coleman hosted sports talk shows, covered football matches, and called Olympic events. He was just as famous for his “Colemanisms” slips of the tongue. Likewise, some of these, and those of other commentators, turned into a series of humorous books entitled ‘Colemanballs’.

Early Life and Childhood

David Coleman was born on April 26, 1926, in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, of Irish heritage, England. His immediate family hailed from County Cork. He holds British nationality. He is under the birth sign Taurus.

The name and information about his parents are not available at the moment. Similarly, any information regarding any other family members such as siblings and others is also not available until now. He has kept his personal and family life private and has never talked about them in front of the limelight.

Regarding his educational background and qualification, the name of the school, high school, and university that he attended is not available until now. Considering his work and career, he must have graduated from both high school as well as the university.

Furthermore, Coleman was a keen amateur runner and he competed as a schoolboy middle-distance runner. In the year 1949, he even won the Manchester Mile as a member of Stockport Harriers, the only non-international runner to do so. Likewise, he also competed in the English National Cross-Country Championships for Manchester Athletic Club in 1952 (116th, 3rd team) and 1953 (118).

Moreover, he ran 440 yards (¼ mile) for Staffordshire. However, an injury eventually caused him to give up competitive running, and he later became president of the Wolverhampton & Bilston Athletics Club.

David Coleman

Caption: David Coleman and his friends (Source: Google)


Coleman died on 21 December 2013. He took his last breath at his home located in Berkshire after a short illness.

Career and Professional Life

David Coleman worked as a reporter for the Stockport Express. And during military service in the Royal Corps of Signals, he worked for the British Army Newspaper Unit. Likewise, the part of his time in national service was in Kenya. And, during the Second World War, he was a batman to someone called Walter Jaundrill. They remained friends even after the war.

Then, he joined Kemsley Newspapers after demobilization, and at the age of 22, he became editor of the Cheshire County Express. He did not attend the 1952 Olympic trials because of hamstring injuries, instead, he approached the BBC to see if they would like any help with athletics coverage. Although Coleman did not have an audition, the BBC asked him to cover Roger Bannister at Bradford City Police Sports. And, the following year he began freelance radio work in Manchester.

In the year 1954, Coleman moved to Birmingham and joined the BBC as a news assistant and sports editor. His first television appearance was on Sportsview and it was on the day that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. Then, in November 1955, he was also appointed as Sports Editor for the BBC’s Midlands Region.

Likewise, in October 1958, the BBC’s Head of Sport Peter Dimmock recruited him to be the presenter of the new Saturday afternoon sports program Grandstand. He even continued as the regular presenter until the year 1968. He even presented the BBC Sports Personality of the Year from 1961, and Sportsnight from 1968 to 1972 as well as other special sporting events such as the Grand National.

More About Career…

Likewise, Coleman even covered the return of The Beatles from the United States and the 1959 General Election for the BBC from the Press Association headquarters. Moreover, being a presenter, Coleman was also a sports commentator. He presented and commentated on the 11 Olympic Games from Rome 1960 to Sydney 2000, as well as eight Commonwealth Games. He covered a total of seven World Cups, both as a commentator and a presenter.

Coleman was the BBC’s senior football commentator for several years from 1971. He also commentated on the World Cup Final in the year 1974 and the year 1978 as well as the European Cup Final in 1973 and 1975 and the FA Cup final from 1972 to 1976 inclusive. Although Coleman missed the 1977 game as he was in a legal dispute with the BBC, allowing John Motson to make his FA Cup final debut. Likewise, he returned for the 1978 final before Motson took over the following year.

Likewise, his last live football commentary was on 26 May 1979 when he described England’s 3-1 win over Scotland at Wembley Stadium in the 1978-79 British Home Championship. However, he continued to work at football matches as a secondary commentator until October 1981. However, his last ever game was a midweek League Cup game between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.


Then, in the year 1968, at the Mexico Olympics Coleman was recorded at 200 words per minute while commentating on David Hemery’s win in the 400m Hurdles. After the finish, he could only identify the first two and exclaimed: “Who cares who’s third?” the bronze medal winner turned out to be another Briton, John Sherwood. However, out of respect for Sherwood, most subsequent showings of the race have dubbed the line out.

Moreover, satirists of the ’80s and ’90s often portrayed Coleman as constantly surprised by mundane happenings at athletic events. Likewise, Clive James wrote that the difference between commentating and ‘colemantating’ is that a commentator says something you may wish to remember; a colemantator says something you try to forget.

However, his ability to generate excitement through his commentary got a lot of praise. Then, in the year 1972, he broadcast for several hours during the siege at the Munich Olympics as well as the memorial service days later. Coleman concentrated on athletics commentary from 1984.

Retirement and More…

Coleman also hosted a sports quiz show “A Question Of Sport” for 18 years from 1979 to 1997, striking up a strong rapport with captains such as Emlyn Hughes, Ian Botham, Willie Carson, and Bill Beaumont. And, although he hosted the vast majority of the shows, he was occasionally absent and stand-in hosts were drafted in. Former host David Vine returned to the show in the year 1989 when Coleman was ill.

Likewise, Bill Beaumont hosted two editions in the year 1996, while Will Carling temporarily replaced Beaumont as team captain, and Sue Barker hosted two editions later that year. Moreover, he is on-air gaffes, use of clichés, and occasional mispronunciations led the satirical magazine Private Eye to name its sports bloopers column Colemanballs – a word conceived by Coleman himself – in his honor.

Coleman retired from broadcasting after the 2000 Summer Olympics. And, in December 2000, he was presented with the Olympic Order by then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch in recognition of his services to the Olympic ideals. He then retired, requesting no fanfare or recognition by the BBC, despite working for the corporation for over 40 years.

Furthermore, the BBC later broadcast a program entitled “The Quite Remarkable David Coleman” to celebrate Coleman’s life. This program aired just after his 85th birthday in May 2011.

David Coleman

Caption: David Coleman with other BBC Host (Source: Google)

Relationship Status

David Coleman and his wife whose name is Barbara had six children. He married Barbara Manning in the year 1952 in northeast Cheshire. His daughter Anne was born in 1954 and was a British ladies’ showjumping champion. And, his son Michael born in 1962 was a Panavia Tornado navigator, who flew in the Gulf War in 1991. He also became a Squadron Leader. Moreover, they had twin sons in the year 1955 and two other daughters in the year 1961 and the year 1969.

David Coleman

Caption: David Coleman along with his wife and his children (Source: Google)

He lived in Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire. Then, in the year 1992 New Year’s Honours List, he received the OBE for services to broadcasting. He also received the Judges’ Award For Sport in the 1996 Royal Television Society Awards.

Body Measurements

The body measurements of David Coleman such as height, weight, chest size, waist size, hip size, and any other sizes are not available at the moment. All of those body measurements were in the review but never known. However, he had light brown hair and brown eyes.

David Coleman – Social Media

David Coleman didn’t own any social media accounts. He has always stayed away from the social media world.

David Coleman – Net Worth

However, talking about his earnings and income, according to trendcelebsnow, he had a net worth of $1 million-$5 million.