An RTÉ Sport Retrospective

Jimmy Magee

Former RTÉ sports commentator and journalist Jimmy Magee has passed away aged 82.


Radio Eireann

Born in New York on 4 February, 1935, he was brought up on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth. He wrote many letters to Radio Eireann before starting work with the station in Dublin’s GPO in 1956.

Photo © RTÉ Archives

The Sporting Life

Sport was about to become the key area of Magee's career and so began a love affair between the Irish public and the commentator.

Photo © RTÉ Archives

Jimmy On the Radio

Jimmy started off with Junior Sports Magazine before being a mainstay of Sunday Sport.

Photo © RTÉ Archives

Lasting Legacy

Magee commentated on over 20 major sporting events including multiple Olympic Games and World Cups.


The Marathon Olympic Games

Jimmy Magee commentating on John Treacy’s Olympic silver win at the Los Angeles Olympics, 1984.

Audio: RTÉ Archives

“The Little Man From Clones Is the Featherweight Champion of the World”

Barry McGuigan beats Eusebio Pedroza on points to take the title as featherweight champion of the world.

Audio: RTÉ Archives
22 June 1986

Different Class

It was one of the greatest goals ever scored. The commentary that came along with it matched the goal.

1987 - 1998

Jimmy & George

Magee with fellow presenter George Hamilton on the set during filming of an edition of RTÉ Television's quiz programme 'Know Your Sport', which ran for 11 years.

Photo © RTÉ Archives
He was the Memory Man and I was the Ordinary Joe. I tried to catch him out but I never did. The public tried too. Jimmy never knew what was coming on the show. He would lead you to believe he might not know the answer. And then of course he would answer it.

George Hamilton, today

When they say Muhammad Ali was the greatest of all time, you have to put Jimmy Magee in the same category of what he did. Listening to the commentary again, it brings back great memories we shared of my sporting career and a lot of other boxers too. He was a role model and friend.

Michael Carruth on Jimmy's commentary on the 1992 Olympics.

Jimmy Magee 1935 - 2017
Photo ©Inpho