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He was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, and was educated at Newport High School and the University of London. He worked briefly as a chartered accountant before joining the BBC as an organiser on Children's Hour in Cardiff in 1932.
Pre-war and wartime career
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. In 1939 he moved to London and joined the national outside broadcasts staff, becoming assistant director in 1942. 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.
He covered the FA Cup Final every year from 1946 to 1963. He also commentated on the 1962 World Cup and regularly on domestic and international football matches. 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.
Manner & appearance
He was noted for his horn-rimmed glasses, his handlebar moustache and for his fast-paced, excitable, somewhat plummy broadcasting style, which is evocative of the time. He was a popular public figure, lending his name to a number of sports books, mostly aimed at boys.
He gave up sports commentary in the early months of 1964, and spent the rest of his working life with Elga Products Limited.
He died on 23 February 1974, from a heart attack.