MURRAY WALKER 1923-2021
Everyone involved in the British Touring Car Championship is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Murray Walker OBE.
Well known as the commentator on the network television coverage of Formula 1, Murray’s impact and effect on the growth of the British Touring Car Championship can’t be underestimated.
National TV’s sporadic coverage of UK racing meant that Walker’s voice dipped in and out of the BTCC (then the British Saloon Car Championship) since the early 1980s.
When the British Touring Car Championship earned regular mainstream coverage on the BBC in 1988, Walker was an essential ingredient in what was and still remains as the greatest show in town.
Walker took his new role to heart and immersed himself in the category and its heroes. In his distinctive way, he wasn’t just there to talk about the races: he got to know the top drivers, their cars and their back story. This was Murray’s skill.
As well as the ground-breaking broadcasts and the on-board camera coverage, the highlights packages that were shown to the public on BBC TV were also covered by the Voice of Motorsport, Murray Walker. It opened up tin-top racing to an audience it might not have been listening before.
For him, the BTCC was not a side-line to his F1 work: far from it. Walker loved to tell the story of the races and the human stories underneath those, whilst the multiple camera angles helped him show the viewer how exciting the racing was.
Walker always had the perfect line for the perfect time. Famous lines like his – of which there are many – will be remembered forever, and they are the comments that help secure the BTCC, and Walker too, in legend…
Even after Murray had given up the microphone, he was a regular visitor to BTCC meetings. The BTCC will miss him.
British Touring Car Championship Chief Executive Alan Gow has paid tribute…
“I’m just so incredibly sad to learn of Murray’s passing,” he said.
“Not only was Murray such an important part of the success and history of the BTCC, he was also a person whom I hugely admired and thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with. Without doubt the whole BTCC community share in the great sorrow at the passing of ‘Muzza’.
“Words will never be enough. But from the bottom of my heart… thank you and farewell Murray.”