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Alan Parry (born 1948) is a British sports commentator, born and brought up in Garston, Liverpool, Lancashire, concentrating on football and athletics. He has commentated for all three main broadcasters of football in the UK – the BBC, ITV and Sky TV, as well as for both BBC and commercial radio.
Starting his career at BBC Radio Merseyside, he joined the BBC in London in 1973, and immediately started regular football commentaries. Within a short time he was covering England matches, and by 1975 he was covering the European Cup final. After the death of Maurice Edelston he started working alongside Peter Jones covering the FA Cup Final in 1976. By the mid-1970s he was also BBC radio's athletics commentator, covering the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics.
From 1981 he largely relinquished his radio football commentary to commentate for Match of the Day on BBC television. In 1985 he left the BBC to join ITV, initially as an athletics commentator after the commercial channel won the rights to cover British athletics. However, by the late 1980s, Parry had also become a key football commentator for the network, and in 1990, Parry was Brian Moore's number two at the World Cup – this was a role he would retain until he left the network. As well as covering national football and athletics, Parry was also heavily involved on a regional level, being Central's lead commentator for a number of years. Between 1992 and 1996, the ITV regions held the rights to live coverage of the Football League, and Parry commentated on a live match almost every Sunday for the Central region.
After covering Euro 96 for ITV, Parry left to join Sky TV by which time ITV's athletics portfolio had dwindled almost to nothing (he continued covering what little athletics ITV had left until 1997). Parry has also covered athletics for Sky, but his main role has been as a football commentator. For five years he was the Monday Night Football commentator, before working on the pay-per-view games on PremPlus for four years. In more recent times, Parry has been one of Sky's 'Big Five' commentators – including Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Bill Leslie and Rob Hawthorne (now 'Big Four' since Darke left Sky) – who commentate across a wide portfolio of matches in the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Football League. Parry has commentated on seven League Cup Finals for Sky. Parry is also the commentator for Wales' live international matches on Sky.
Between 1998 and 2002 he also worked as a football commentator for talkSPORT and a presenter during the World Cup hosting a phone-in. In the 2002–03 season he presented Saturday afternoon football coverage on Capital Gold.
The 2006–07 season was another busy one for Parry. As well as his core commitment of 1 live match from every weekend of the Barclays Premier League, (plus several live matches for overseas viewers for TWI), Parry covered several live matches from the UEFA Champions League, the Football League Championship and the League Cup. His season's highlights were the League Cup Final which he commentated on for the seventh time and the two-legged Champions League semi-final between Manchester United and AC Milan. During the summer he commentated on the Copa América for Sky, including the final.
He, by his own admission, is a supporter of Liverpool which for a period of several years meant that he did not cover any of their matches for Sky. However, during this period he continued to regularly commentate on Liverpool matches on the TWI International feed for overseas Premiership viewers. His "ban" on Liverpool games for Sky seems to have been lifted, with his live commentary of Aston Villa vs. Liverpool on 29 December 2009. Parry has also been involved with Wycombe Wanderers for over ten years now including a spell as a director.
When not working for Sky Sports, Parry has been heard commentating Premier League matches for Premier League Productions, a venture of IMG Sports Media who produce, package and broadcast the live production of games for the Premier League for its international broadcast partners. The same productions are also shown domestically for highlights packages on Sky Sports' "Football First" programme. He is famous for saying 'and its live' before games kick off.
as commentator of the original Gladiators
|Commentator of Gladiators