Harry Carpenter

The voice of boxing, Harry Carpenter, has died at the age of 84. Former BBC man Carpenter worked for Auntie for nearly half a century, presenting Grandstand, Sportsnight and the Wimbledon tennis championships. However, it will be for his boxing coverage that he will be best remembered.

Carpenter joined the BBC in 1949 and didn’t hang up his mic until 1994.

In his time, he covered some of the biggest fights in the sport’s history, notably being on air for the famous Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 and famously described the contest as “the most extraordinary few seconds that I have ever seen in a boxing ring”.

Frank Bruno also played a part in Carpenter’s fame, being the person referred to in Bruno’s infamous catchphrase “Know what I mean, ‘Arry?”

A spokesman for the former WBC world champion said: “Frank was not aware of it. He is very upset and at the moment he does not want to give a statement, but has asked me to put some words out to say it was a real shock to him.

“He was obviously part of Frank’s up and coming career from the early days when Harry used to commentate, particularly at the Royal Albert Hall, on Frank’s boxing.

“Then they became a bit of a double act with the ‘Know what I mean, ‘Arry’ thing. From there they went on to do appearances together almost like a little cabaret act.

“The most exciting time was probably the Tyson fight when even Harry Carpenter, who was quite a cool man, sort of lost his cool. Frank says he will be giving a statement but at the moment he is very upset and shocked by it.”

Carpenter’s lawyer David Wills said: “He had been unwell since last summer when he had a minor heart attack. The funeral has not been arranged but will be a family funeral, to be followed by a memorial service in London.”

We have truly lost one of the finest commentators the world has ever seen.

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