Following another way too early (Sunday) morning, I just have read the sad news about Murray Walkers passing.
I've been out of school for 4 years and was in the middle of my first year as a plumber journeyman in 1999, when a book by Christopher Hilton called 'Hitler's Grands Prix in England - Donington 1937 & 1938' caught my interest. I never was a good pupil, neither in languages nor in the scientific spectrum and would have left English language education behind when I did leave school. Now said book wasn't available in German language so I would have to read it in English. In the end I read it four times at least, always with an English-German dictionary at hand. You may ask now, what this got to do with Murray Walker. Feel free to read on.
My interest in motorsports caused me buying a bigger sat dish as well as a dish motor to be able to watch a tv channel called MotorsTV on the British Astra 2 satelites as said channel did cover ALMS but also AMA Superbike and the 24h of Le Mans at the time.
I was still interested in F1 but not as much as I used to be but soon would find out about the BBC's 500cc world championship coverage as well as ITV's F1 coverage which still would feature Murray in the commentary booth. My interest in F1 was already dropping but I still would watch it on ITV because of Murrays' commentary. I know, at the time he became a bit funny already and would mix things up but in a charming way. And since I was reading said book above I somehow licked blood on English language again and became interested in how it would sound.
Now, following my interest in motorsports (which I blame mostly for picking up on this language again) I would start to record Murrays commentaries. Not to watch the races again, but for using his pretty clean English for my attempts of pronounciation. It was a start and stop affair in regards to the video tapes. I allowed Murray one sentence and would repeat it. Unbeknown to him, he would become my English 'teacher' on the speaking side of things. A role, which later was continued by Roy Moore of Manx Radio during all these commentaries from the Isle of Man races since roughly 2010.
I would learn a lot, especially that Murray not always has been the British voice of F1. He would script commentaries for his dad Graham as well as doing his own commentaries on the Isle of Man TT races from the late 50s to 1966, which thankfully were recorded.
Today I see these records as a gift, Murrays legacy to me, kind of.
Thank you very much, my first English teacher post school days.
Ride in peace
Murray and Graham, Isle of Man 1931