Obituary, 2003

Kenneth Wolstenholme



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Wolstenholme, Kenneth, DFC, died in Torquay on March 25, 2002, aged 81. For almost a quarter of a century, spanning five World Cups, Wolstenholme's was the voice of football on BBC television. When England won the World Cup in 1966, he saw spectators running on to the pitch in the closing moments of the final and said "They think it's all over", which eventually, after endless re-runs of the footage, became a national catchphrase. Yet his career might have taken a different path. Returning to sports journalism after wartime service as a bomber pilot, he was sent by BBC Manchester to cover cricket's Scarborough Festival. Unfortunately, his lyrical descriptions of the Marine Parade tulips were heard by the Yorkshire Post's gardening correspondent, who somewhat pedantically pointed out that tulips do not bloom in September. Not in Scarborough, anyway. Wolstenholme possibly thought it was all over; any future in cricket commentary certainly was.

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