37 Facts About Barry Davies


Barry George Davies MBE was born on 24 October 1937 and is an English retired sports commentator and television presenter.


Barry Davies covered a wide range of sports in a long career, primarily for the BBC.


Barry Davies was the 'Voice of the Boat Race' between 1993 and 2004, the presenter of Maestro in the 1980s, and the voice that welcomed tourists to London Heathrow in 2012 as they arrived for the Olympic Games.


Barry Davies has covered more Summer Olympics than any other British sports broadcaster.


Barry Davies says in his autobiography that his original aim was to become a doctor, but although he did well in his school exams, he didn't quite get the grades required to win a university place to read medicine.


Barry Davies started his broadcasting career with British Forces Broadcasting whilst doing his National Service in the British Army of the Rhine as a second-lieutenant in West Germany.


Barry Davies's spell with ITV continued for another three years, providing commentaries for ABC and Granada Television.


Barry Davies covered the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, commentating on a number of sports.


Barry Davies joined the BBC in July 1969, making his first brief on-screen appearance as a touchline reporter at the Wales v Rest of the UK International football match held to celebrate the Investiture of the Prince of Wales, but for the next 35 years he was closely associated with the Match of the Day programme, making his debut in unusual circumstances on 9 August 1969.


Barry Davies was signed primarily to cover matches in the North of England and was assigned League Champions Leeds United's match with Tottenham Hotspur on day one.


Barry Davies, who had stayed in the Queen's Hotel in Leeds on the Friday night, describes in his autobiography how he "barely had time to eat his cornflakes" on the Saturday morning before being put in a fast car and driven to London so he could commentate on the main match, Crystal Palace v Manchester United, and co-present the show with Frank Bough.


The rivalry between Motson and Barry Davies started when the then senior commentator David Coleman was in a contractual dispute with the BBC and was therefore unavailable to cover the 1977 FA Cup Final, the most prestigious domestic game of the season.


Barry Davies was to enjoy most of his leading games in European Cup finals, which were covered by the BBC in alternate years during the era of English dominance in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


Barry Davies commentated on twelve European Cup finals in all - including triumphs for Liverpool and Nottingham Forest - and the horrors of the Heysel in 1985.


Barry Davies covered a number of finals of the European Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup as well as the Football League Cup final on the rare occasions it was shown on the BBC, and tended to commentate on the draws for the World Cup and European Championship.


Barry Davies was often the BBC's choice of commentator for broadcast to English viewers if Scotland were involved in a World Cup match, such as the opening game of France '98 against Brazil.


Barry Davies continued to work for the BBC on a freelance basis, covering the 2006 Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games and in the summers of 2007 and 2008 could be heard commentating on the French Open, the Wimbledon Championships before covering the hockey and beach volleyball at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.


Barry Davies said he did not want to be accused of bias, so did not want to reveal who he supported during his career, or even where he was born.


Barry Davies did not have any involvement with the BBC's 2010 World Cup coverage, but in September 2010, the BBC announced that he would be going to that year's Commonwealth Games in India to commentate on the hockey tournament.


Barry Davies commentated on the Wimbledon championships for the BBC in 2011, including the Ladies' Singles Final on the "3D" coverage.


In 2012, Barry Davies provided the "3D" commentary on the Men's Singles Final at Wimbledon, where Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray in four sets to win his record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title.


Barry Davies commentated on the Hockey tournament at the 2012 London Olympics, meaning that he had commentated on 12 Summer Olympics, overtaking the record held by David Coleman for a British sports broadcaster, but he was omitted from the BBC commentary team for the 2016 games and had no involvement with any other broadcaster.


On Saturday 19 May 2012, Barry Davies was one of the torchbearers on the opening day of the Olympic Torch Relay, carrying the torch on the outskirts of Plymouth.


On 30 August 2013, Barry Davies announced that he was stepping down as the BBC's hockey commentator, having covered the sport for 41 years.


Barry Davies returned to Match of the Day on 23 August 2014 as a one-off to celebrate the programme's 50th anniversary, and he commentated on the game between Crystal Palace and West Ham.


In September 2015, Barry Davies filled in for Jon Champion for three weeks as the commentator on Absolute Radio's live Saturday afternoon Premier League coverage whilst Champion was away covering the Rugby World Cup for ITV.


In June 2018, the BBC announced that Barry Davies was retiring at the age of 80, and 2018 would be his 33rd and final Wimbledon.


Barry Davies brought his talents to the comedy world in the BBC sketch show Big Train, commentating with his distinctive enthusiasm on the fictional "World Stare-Out Championships" with Phil Cornwell.


In 1995, Barry Davies put his voice to the Actua Soccer video game developed by Gremlin Interactive.


Barry Davies provided commentary in sequels to the title, including the official video game of the 1996 UEFA European Championship.


Barry Davies provided commentary for Actua Tennis from the same developers.


In 1999 Barry Davies, who was the BBC's ice skating commentator at the time, provided "commentary" on the ice skating sequence on the UK version of the music video for the Robbie Williams hit single "She's the One".


The single reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and the video won a Brit Award, although Barry Davies said that he wasn't invited to the ceremony and he never got to meet Williams during the recording.


Barry Davies provided commentary for management sims Premier Manager: Ninety Nine and Premier Manager 2000.


Since 2003, Barry Davies has voiced the various football video games produced by Codemasters: the Club Football titles released in 2003 and 2004, England International Football and the LMA Manager series since LMA 2004.


Barry Davies makes no mention of when he was born, his early years or even his place of birth in his autobiography, although official public records give his place of birth as Islington in London.


Barry Davies was awarded the MBE for services to sports broadcasting in the New Years Honours list published in December 2004.