James Alexander Gordon

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For other people with the same name, see James Gordon (disambiguation).
James Alexander Gordon
Born (1936-02-10)10 February 1936
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 18 August 2014(2014-08-18) (aged 78)
Reading, England
Occupation Radio broadcaster
Years active 1972–2013
Spouse(s) Julia
Children David

James Alexander Gordon (10 February 1936 – 18 August 2014) was a Scottish radio broadcaster, best known for reading the classified check of the football results every Saturday at 17:00 on BBC Radio Five Live's Sports Report.

Born in Edinburgh in 1936,[1] during his youth he was paralysed with polio and he spent a large part of his childhood in hospital.[2] He worked in music publishing before joining the BBC in 1972, becoming an announcer and newsreader (mostly on Radio 2) until the early 1990s. In 1974 he followed in the footsteps of John Webster, reading the classified football results, first on Radio 2 and later on Five Live.

Popularly known as "Jag",[1] he used his intonation, when pronouncing the names of the clubs, to indicate whether a match had ended in a home win, away win or draw.[1]

Gordon also worked as a freelance voice artist, recording voice-overs and commenting on company videos.[3]

He announced his retirement from radio in July 2013 following surgery to remove his larynx after being diagnosed with cancer.[4] He was succeeded as the reader of the classified football results by former Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green from late September 2013.[5]

Gordon reprised his role as announcer of the football results to read fictional results for the play Jumpers for Goalposts.[6]


Gordon died of cancer in the early hours of 18 August 2014,[7] at the Sue Ryder – Duchess of Kent hospice in Reading. He was survived by his wife Julia, son David, and two granddaughters.[8] His birth name was Redpath and his mother died at childbirth. His adoptive and loving parent were Thomas Gordon and Catherine Alexander. They cared for him all his life. He knew they were his adoptive parents. He was legally adopted when he was 16 years of age. Jim's first wife was Pat and they had Jim's only son David Gordon. They divorced and he married Carrie, his second wife. They had no children. He married Julia, his third wife, and they had no children.


  1. ^ a b c Hunter Davies (27 November 2000). "JAG, the man who has read the results for nearly 30 years". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Elliott, Jane (2002-12-28). "Football scores 5 Polio 0". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  3. ^ "From Arsenal to Liverpool to Wolves – James has the results (From Times Series)". Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  4. ^ "James Alexander Gordon to retire as football results reader". BBC NewsOnline. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Charlotte Green replaces James Alexander Gordon on BBC Radio". BBC News Online. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Playwright Tom Wells on Jumpers For Goalposts". BBC News. 29 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "James Alexander Gordon: Voice of football results dies, aged 78". BBC News. 18 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "James Alexander Gordon: The voice that made Saturday tea time magical". Daily Mail. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 

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