Raymond Glendenning

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Raymond Glendenning
Raymond Carl Glendenning

(1907-09-25)25 September 1907
Died23 February 1974(1974-02-23) (aged 66)
OccupationSports commentator

Raymond Carl Glendenning (25 September 1907 – 23 February 1974) was a BBC radio sports commentator and occasional character actor.

Early years[edit]

He was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, and was educated at Newport High School and the University of London.[1] He worked briefly as a chartered accountant before joining the BBC as an organiser on Children's Hour in Cardiff in 1932.[2][3]

Pre-war and wartime career[edit]

In 1935 he moved to Belfast as an outside broadcasts assistant, and began commentating on local sporting events on the BBC's Northern Ireland service.[4] In 1939 he moved to London and joined the national outside broadcasts staff, becoming assistant director in 1942.[5] By this time he was commentating on many major sporting events, and by the end of the Second World War was the BBC's leading sports commentator.[2]

Postwar career[edit]

He covered the FA Cup Final every year from 1946 to 1963.[4][6] He also commentated on the 1962 World Cup and regularly on domestic and international football matches.[7] Glendenning also commentated regularly on boxing, on horse racing (until the end of 1960) and Wimbledon tennis, as well as covering greyhound racing, and show jumping in the 1948 London Olympics.[2]

Manner and appearance[edit]

He was noted for his horn-rimmed glasses, his handlebar moustache and for his fast-paced, excitable, somewhat plummy broadcasting style.[4][8] He was a popular public figure, lending his name to a number of sports books, mostly aimed at boys.[9]

Private life[edit]

Glendenning was an active Freemason under the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). He was initiated in Wales in the Nioba Lodge No 5264 (Newport), and subsequently joined lodges in London including Avenue Lodge No 3231 (whose members were all members of the Constitutional Club), and Shakespear Lodge No 99. After serving as a Grand Steward of UGLE he also joined the Grand Stewards' Lodge.[10]: 20 

Broadcasting retirement[edit]

He gave up sports commentary in the early months of 1964.[citation needed]

He died aged 66 on 23 February 1974, from a heart attack.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Raymond Glendenning". BFI. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Street, Seán (21 April 2015). Historical Dictionary of British Radio. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442249233 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "The Children's Hour: A Girdle Round the Earth". 18 May 1932. p. 43 – via BBC Genome.
  4. ^ a b c "The Sound of 1937: BBC NI delves into its oldest recordings". BBC. 17 October 2014.
  5. ^ Minto, Peter (15 December 2013). The Flying Sportsman: A Biography of F N S Creek. Memoirs Publishing. ISBN 9781861510327 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "F.A. Cup Final: Blackpool v. Manchester United". 24 April 1948. p. 21 – via BBC Genome.
  7. ^ "Raymond Glendenning". Audioboom.
  8. ^ "Fame in the 40s and 50s lasted much longer than Warhol's 15 minutes". Watford Observer.
  9. ^ "The Greyfriars Index: Post 1940 Publications: Glendenning's Book of Sport for Boys (1950-1962)". greyfriarsindex.co.uk.
  10. ^ King-Hamilton, His Honour M A B (Alan); Jenkins, David; Fermor, Andrew (2007). Avenue Lodge, 1907-2007, A History (First ed.). London: Avenue Lodge.


External links[edit]