Martin Tyler: The golden voice of the Premier League
Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has given its fans several magical moments and memorable players. And despite all the change its witnessed through the years, the one thing that has remained constant throughout has been the polished voice of the commentators’ microphone describing all those heart stopping moments on Sky Sports Network. A voice that is unique and easily recognizable to the knowledgeable football fan is that of Martin Tyler.
If cricket has its Richie Benaud then English football has Martin Tyler. He initially worked for ITV for many years but then moved on to the Sky Sports Network where he has been at the helm of Sky’s coverage right from day 1 of the league. Despite numerous offers to move to greener pastures he has stuck by the Sky network. The first time I heard Martin Tyler on the microphone, I really did get the impression that this man knows what he is talking about.
Too often you have former players or supposed “pundits” commentating on games and we are treated to substandard fare. Such is not the case with Tyler. He is almost always calling the biggest games in English football and European football for that matter. Just like the big game player he is the big game commentator. The one who is given the responsibility to do a good job and not once has he ever disappointed.
Some of his commentary quotes are legendary. Last season when City beat United to the league title in the last minute of the game Tyler literally exploded in joy screaming Aguero’s name. What I’m trying to convey here is that such a moment deserved such excellent commentary. A moment which we hadn’t really seen since Arsenal clinched the league at Anfield in 1989 thanks to a last minute goal from Michael Thomas.
Tyler not only commentates on English Premier League games but also on European Cup games and World Cup games as well. The great thing about Tyler is his various anecdotes and the sheer amount of trivia and knowledge he has of the game. During every game he commentates in you never have a dull moment as he always keeps you excited with some fact or some amusing story.
Tyler is also associated with the FIFA game series since 2006. It is quite common to hear him rattling of facts about Anfield or Old Trafford in that game or talking about Arsenal’s lack of trophies as well. I cannot begin to tell you how much knowledge of football I have gained from this man.
For all football lovers out there, the dream team of commentary had to be Martin Tyler and Andy Gray. They complemented each other so well and you could feel the chemistry and camaraderie between the two of them. Unfortunately Gray got caught up in a controversy that led to him being sacked from the network along with friend and colleague, Richard Keys.
Tyler’s sterling work has not gone unrecognized. He won the Premier League commentator of the decade in 2003, an honour which I feel was richly deserved. I always thought Tyler was an Arsenal fan due to the fondness with which he talks about the club and the fact that he co-authored of ‘The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal Football Club.’ But he is in fact a lifelong Woking FC fan.
In a sport that glorifies the players on the pitch it is not very often that the people calling the game get the credit that they deserve. According to me, Tyler deserves a tremendous amount of credit for being that good. Without him, the Premier League would be incomplete and bereft of some wonderful and memorable moments.