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Legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker OBE has died at the age of 97, it has been confirmed.

Walker, who was known as the Voice of F1, commentated on his first Grand Prix back in 1949.

He television commentary of coverage of the sport for the BBC between 1976 and 1996, and for ITV between 1997 and 2001.

He was awarded an OBE in 1996 for his services to broadcasting and motorsport, the Mirror reports.

A statement from the British Racing Drivers’ Club said: “It’s with great sadness we share the news of the passing of BRDC Associate Member Murray Walker OBE.

“A friend, a true motorsport legend, the nation’s favourite commentator and a contagious smile.

“Murray will be sadly missed, his mark and voice will live on in motorsport and our hearts forever.

“We thank Murray for all he has done for our community.

“Sending our love and thoughts to Murray’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

A statement from Formula One added: “We are immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away.

“His passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world. He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed.”

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“His passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world. He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed.”

Walker battled health problems in his later years.

He was diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma during tests in hospital after he suffered a fall while on a German river cruise holiday when he was aged 89.

Speaking in 2016, he made a heartbreaking admission he was not physically able to attend races but vowed to keep his passion for the sport until his death.

Martin Brundle, the former British star who enjoyed 11 seasons in F1, was among those to pay tribute to the icon.

He wrote: “Rest in Peace Murray Walker. Wonderful man in every respect. National treasure, communication genius, Formula One legend.”

This content was originally published here.