London: Athletics `lost its greatest commentator` according to double Olympic champion Lord Coe, following the death of David Coleman, aged 87, reports have said.
According to the BBC, Coleman, who broadcast for the BBC from 1954 to 2000, covering 11 Olympic Games and six football World Cups , died on Saturday following a short illness.
Coe said that Coleman was so incomparably better than anyone else who did it, in that generation or the current.
BBC athletics commentator Brendan Foster called him the greatest sports broadcaster that ever lived, the report said.
BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said Coleman was a giant of sports broadcasting, describing him as brilliant, gifted, precise and concise, the report mentioned.
After a spell as a local newspaper editor, Coleman, an accomplished amateur runner, made his TV debut on Sportsview on 6 May 1954, the day Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, the report added.
During more than 40 years in broadcasting he presented a range of top-rated shows, including Match of the Day and Grandstand, as well as fronting coverage of events such as the Grand National and Sports Personality of the Year, his contribution earning him an OBE in 1992, the report further said.