John Rawling: Man Of Talent

  John Rawling is a renowned award winning Television and Radio commentator in the sports world. His specialities include; athletics, darts, boxing, football, yachting, golf, cricket and also coverage of
17 Apr 2016 10:32
John Rawling: Man Of Talent
BBC Radio Five commentators John Rawling (left), and British-born Australian professional darts player Paul Nicholson during the World Darts Championship.


John Rawling is a renowned award winning Television and Radio commentator in the sports world.

His specialities include; athletics, darts, boxing, football, yachting, golf, cricket and also coverage of the Olympic Games.

His talent does not end there as he is also a prolific newspaper writer who has been publishing his work in many UK premium outlets including the much respected “Guardian” newspaper for decades now.

Born in 1957 Rawling is originally from Sheffield and was educated at King Edward VII School.

Upon completing his high school education, Rawling went to study at Manchester University passing all his subjects with flying colours.

Rawling has had a long association with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) both in television and radio.

He previously commentated on boxing, football, cricket, golf and athletics for BBC radio, and was named Radio Sports Broadcaster of the Year in 1994.

He was the lead commentator at four Olympic Games from the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 to the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and also was covering major boxing title fights for the BBC from 1987 until 2005.

He has also been the main boxing commentator for Independent Television (ITV) Britain’s Number One free to air channel, during this time he was named Sports Commentator of the Year by the Royal Television Society for his work with ITV Sports.

He was the lead commentator for Channel 4 in their award winning coverage of the 2012 Paralympics in London.

This led them to receiving a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Live Sports Broadcast for their coverage of the Paralympics.

The passion that burns in this man’s dedication for the sports he loves has transcended him across all the major TV and Radio outlets including ESPN, BBC, Channel 4, SKY Sports, ITV and the list goes on.

For soccer lovers he is a regular contributor to The Champions League and FA Cup broadcasts.

He has also commentated on football for various other broadcast organisations, including the 2010 World Cup.

To be a world class sports commentator and journalist takes years of research into your given sport and having to be a walking encyclopedia with dates and facts on hand as you keep the listeners up to date and consumed in what they are watching.

This is no easy task but Rawling said, if you have researched your material and have your key notes ready at hand, you can deliver the viewers and listeners a great sporting spectacle in any given sport.

It also helps if you have a love for the sport you are going to commentate on, as this shows through during your broadcast.

Interestingly Rawling who is a committed dog lover was given the chance to commentate at ‘Crufts’  a premier dog show in the UK and for a dog lover and owner of German Shepherd dogs this was absolutely bliss for him.

Rawling lives with his wife and three children in Lincolnshire. He is a supporter of Sheffield United FC and his other interests include golf and classic cars.

I met up with Rawling in New York and for once, I turned the tables on him and proceeded to interview him.

What a pleasure it was for me to listen to his wonderful commentary skills and how passionately he spoke about all the sports he loved.

This goes to show that if you have a passion for anything in life, pursue it with vigour and dedication, in the case of John Rawling he may not have been a great sportsperson but through commentating and his passion for sports he always has the best seat in the house.

Edited by Paula Tuvuki

The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.



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