Walker remembered as ‘a consummate English gentleman’

Murray Walker with Mark Webber, Karun Chandhok and Susie Wolff

Mike Drewer, the man who was in charge of the Australian Grand Prix’s media when the event was held in Adelaide, and a personal friend of Murray Walker, has reflected on the passing of the legendary broadcaster.

Overnight it was confirmed that Walker had died at the age of 97.

During his extensive career, the Englishman called all 11 Australian Grands Prix held in the Adelaide streets, and made cameos when the Clipsal 500 was in its early years.

Drewer recalls Walker’s fondness for Adelaide and, in turn, the fondness the city showed him.

Mike Drewer reflects on Murray Walker

I heard the news of Murray’s death listening to radio overnight.

It’s sad, very sad, but Murray had a good innings and lived what you would truly describe as a life well lived.

Through the Formula 1 years, Classic Adelaide, and then the Adelaide 500, Murray was first a colleague, and then a very good friend.

He was the consummate English gentleman and I never heard him utter a bad word against anyone. You could tell perhaps by his demeanour if something or someone was disagreeable to him, but Murray would never express negativity.

In fact he was possibly the most positive person I have known. A true ‘glass half full’ man. You only had to listen to the infectious enthusiasm of his commentary to know that.

Murray may have been best known to most for his Formula 1 involvement but he loved all motorsport.

When we brought him back to Adelaide as a Clipsal 500 ambassador and commentator, he was concerned he didn’t know enough about Australian Touring Car racing.

I don’t know why.

He was a true professional and had done his homework. He knew the background of the drivers, and the history of the category as well as most and better than many of the experts, but expressed this knowledge with large doses of deference to local commentators and members of the media.

Murray wasn’t a big dealer in a world of motorsport egos on steroids. He talked to the kids, the fans, and the VIPs in the same way, posed for photographs for hours and left everyone with the genuine feeling they had just spent time with a really good bloke.

Murray was the greatest ambassador for Formula 1 in Adelaide and then the Adelaide 500. He was genuinely shocked and dismayed when I told him of the Government’s decision to axe the 500 on Adelaide’s famous street circuit.

After all, it had put the city on the international motorsport map. It gained Adelaide a reputation alongside other great motor sport locations – Monaco, Indy, Le Mans.

Murray had a lot to do with this. He loved coming to Adelaide. He loved the racing, and he loved the people.

We loved him back. Murray, you were a great bloke. One of a kind. I will miss you a lot, but the best thing is that I got to know you and call you a mate.

RIP Murray

The start of the 1985 Australian Grand Prix

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