Remembering Jimmy Magee
Sir, – I was sorry to read of the death of legendary sports commentator Jimmy Magee. He will be missed. I hadn’t realised his impact on the subconscious of the Irish nation until recently when I asked my wife what she thought was Kris Kristofferson’s best recording. “Definitely ‘Me and Jimmy Magee’”, was the considered reply. Rest in peace, Memory Man. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The memorable man! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I am sorry to hear of the death of the redoubtable Jimmy Magee.
I have two favourite memories of him. The first was a comment made about him during a live programme from the 2004 Athens Olympics. He had just handed back to the RTÉ studio, and Tom McGurk asked him how many Olympics he had covered. Before Jimmy could answer, Tom speculated that he must have been at the first modern Olympics in Athens, in 1896, such was the longevity of his career.
The second was from a game featuring Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan and Korea. The Nigerian goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, was having a particularly good game when Jimmy noted that he was out of contract that summer, and Sligo Rovers, who were short of a keeper, “could do worse than have a look at him”. The incongruity of a player going from the glamour of the World Cup finals to a little club in the west of Ireland seemed, somehow, comic.
However, it was a comment that captured Jimmy Magee’s evergreen, and slightly naive, enthusiasm for sport. – Yours, etc,
Arbour Hill, Dublin 7.
Sir, – “And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew.” Adieu, Jimmy Magee. – Yours, etc,