Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Final Score for voice of the football results Tim Gudgin

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Media captionVoice of football Tim Gudgin reads results for last time

The voice of BBC television's Saturday tea-time football results has hung up his microphone for the final time.

After a career spanning more than six decades, Tim Gudgin retired a week before his 82nd birthday.

Gudgin, who lives in Hampshire, cites age, the commute to BBC Sport's new home in Salford and an upcoming family wedding in Australia for his decision.

Famed for rising and falling intonation on big scores, he got to say "Airdrie 11 Gala Fairydean 0" on his last show.

That was one of a series of bizarre scorelines which marked Gudgin's final appearance, in which viewers got a rare look at the face behind the voice.

They included a 7-2 away victory for Shrewsbury against Northampton in England's League Two and a 7-3 away win for Cliftonville at Ballymena in Northern Ireland's Carling Premiership.

Gudgin may have admitted to having trouble pronouncing Hamilton Academical in the early days, but his trademark tones bought him his first house mortgage-free and helped singing legend Bing Crosby back a 10/1 winner.

"It seems to have flown by, 60 years it's been terrific," said Gudgin, who now lives in Emsworth, Hampshire after his final broadcast.

"It is a triple reason why I am going, age, distance - I am down on the south coast and the [BBC] team is going to be up in Salford - and my granddaughter's wedding in Australia which I have to be there for."

He started his broadcasting his career while carrying out National Service in Germany in 1949 at the age of 20.

"I always wanted to get into radio but my careers master at school... said 'not a hope Gudgin, not a hope, you will need a first class honours degree from Oxford or Cambridge and you won't get it'."

'Time with family'

But he managed to beat off 200 people to land one of four news reading jobs in Hamburg after his service ended, before returning home and taking a job with the BBC with stints at Radio 2 and Radio 4.

In 1976 he joined Grandstand where he read out the racing and rugby results until 1995 when he became only the second person, following Len Martin's death, to read out the football results.

This came despite his own admission that his knowledge of the game is limited and that he supports the team closest to his current home, which over the years has meant teams as diverse as Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Plymouth and Portsmouth.

During his time on the BBC's flagship sports programme he also met a number of famous faces, including crooner Crosby.

Image caption The broadcaster - pictured in 1978 - has supported a range of teams, including Crystal Palace

"He was with us on the programme and Len Martin noticed there was a horse running called Uncle Bing.

"We told Bing about this and being a very keen man on betting and horses he said 'oh yes put something on for me, let's have £20 on each way' and it went and won at 10/1."

Gudgin also admires modern day stars, including the "charming" Gary Lineker.

And the feeling is mutual, according to the Match of the Day presenter who said: "Saturday afternoons will never be the same again."

The veteran broadcaster now intends to spend more time with his family, including six children and seven grandchildren.

But he has not ruled out returning to do the odd commercial voiceover once in a while - something he was not allowed to do while at the BBC.

"I used to do them... when I went freelance from Radio 2.

"I did an in-vision commercial for Square Deals Surf [washing powder] which bought me the first house I ever had without a mortgage, so that was well worth it."

He is to be replaced from next week by Mike West, who has presented sports bulletins on BBC Radio Lancashire.

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