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Former Commentator and PA Announcer Knights Dies
Monday, 7th Mar 2016 17:42

Former sports reporter and Portman Road PA announcer Bryan Knights died in Ipswich Hospital earlier today, aged 72, after a long illness.

Knights reported and commentated for Radio Orwell, SGR FM and from 2001 until recently BBC Radio Suffolk on Town, the Ipswich Witches and Suffolk County Cricket Club.

Current BBC Suffolk commentator Brenner Woolley, Knights's successor paid tribute, telling TWTD: “One of the words I’d use to describe Bryan would be generous. Very, very generous with his time with his advice with his encouragement towards me.

“Because, of course, when I first came down to Suffolk it would have been easy for him to be worried by this young whippersnapper coming in and maybe had his nose put out of joint but there was never any of that from Bryan towards me, he was always absolutely wonderful in terms of his generosity.

“He had a huge passion for his local sport, he kept abreast of everything and was a very, very funny man on top of that, very opinionated but great company and I’ll have nothing but fond memories and an awful lot of respect for a thoroughly wonderful man.”

BBC Suffolk editor Peter Cook added: "He was a legend of a broadcaster.

"Many Town fans will have grown up listening to his commentaries and he really was the voice of Ipswich Town for season after season.

"Away from the microphone Bryan was a warm, kind man with a smile for everyone. We'll miss him terribly."

For more than 20 years he was also the PA announcer at Portman Road, as he was at Foxhall Stadium and he was also on the committee of Suffolk County Cricket Club.

Prior to his involvement in local radio, Knights, who was also the headteacher at Murrayside County Primary, was on the committee of the ITFC Supporters Club and was the DJ on the famous Blue Arrow trains which travelled to away games in the early 1970s.

UPDATE: We've had a message from Bryan's family this morning saying they've been very touched by all the kind words that have been posted about him since his death yesterday.

Photo: BBC Suffolk

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TractorCam added 17:49 - Mar 7

trncbluearmy added 17:50 - Mar 7
RIP Bryan

True Blue,good guy and one of the few to speak out against ME at the EGM while the rest of us myself included were counting the money.
On balance he was right

therein61 added 17:50 - Mar 7
R.I.P Bryan, sterling work for not only Town but in the community.

Smithy added 17:52 - Mar 7
RIP Bryan, loved your enthusiasm on the wireless

Mark added 17:55 - Mar 7
Sad news about the death of Bryan. One of my fond memories of childhood was hearing on the radio at the end of his reports "Bryan Knights, from Portman Road".

BotesdaleBlue added 18:01 - Mar 7
Very sad news. Rest in peace Bryan.

sirburley added 18:09 - Mar 7
I can still hear his voice from back in the day. When we scored he'd shout 'goal action'...sad news...

Mark added 18:13 - Mar 7
Didn't Radio Orwell have a little ditty after "Goal action!", "Da Da Da, Da Da Da, DaDa DaDa" then go over to Bryan for his update (regardless whether Ipswich or the opponents scored)? It was a long time ago, memory may play tricks.

trulyblue added 18:25 - Mar 7
Will never forget seeing him jumping up and down in the commentary box at Oakwell many years ago when Town scored 3 in the final few minutes to came back from 3-0 to draw 3-3. Only met him once but he came across as a gentleman..... Rest in peace Brian, a true blue.

uppersirbob added 18:38 - Mar 7
Very sad news Bryan was a true blue RIP

Warkystache added 18:42 - Mar 7
Back in the old days, I spent a fortune on Soccerline and Bryan never waivered from ramping up the excitement, even when it finished 0-0. Shame he spoke two words every 20 seconds and you had to be on the phone for at least 10 minutes to even hear who'd scored (at £1.20 per minute).

Thanks for providing me with good memories, Bryan. And the score. RIP

blueboy1981 added 18:56 - Mar 7
Very sad news indeed - Brian, for many years, was a passionate ITFC person, and I have personally had many interesting conversations with him along these lines over the years.

He truly loved his Sport in general, and will be sadly missed. Another ITFC Legend.

R.I.P. Brian. Condolences to his Family and Friends.

essexboy added 19:12 - Mar 7
Best there was.R.I.P. Brian.will be sadly missed.

parhamblue added 19:17 - Mar 7
I met him once with my father before a game, full of enthusiasm. His voice was synonymous with Suffolk sport. I do remember his bloopers: on the PR tannoy 'Notts County Nil ..... [pause] whoever they were playing Nil'; After a poor run of results we beat Luton at home and on Radio Orwell 'This can hopefully act as a springbird for the rest of the season.'

Sporall added 19:41 - Mar 7
RIP Bryan. The Voice of Town.

Chicago_Blue added 20:04 - Mar 7
I remember the "Goal action" alerts on Radio Orwell, back in the day, with the clip of a crowd cheering (regardless of who scored). A game that sticks out for me is a slightly more recent one - Blackburn away in the FA Cup replay, when Paul Mason scored and we won 1-0 in '96 I think it was. I think a young Richard Wright played a blinder and we did a bit of a smash and grab. Legend Brian Knights - will always be a part of my growing up listening to the Town. RIP sir. Condolences to your family and friends.

Chicago_Blue added 20:08 - Mar 7
Mark - yes you're spot on. I remember those alerts (as per my last post).

Warkystache - oh yes, Soccerline! I remember phoning it from a pay phone from Planet Hollywood in London and putting in coin after coin to eventually hear we lost to Liverpool! How did we cope before the internet. I remember even on holiday abroad buying a paper the day after, the day after the game to see how we go on.

Taricco_Fan added 20:12 - Mar 7
What a shame. RIP Bryan.

Millsey added 20:17 - Mar 7
Very sad news. RIP Bryan

Dissboyitfc added 20:18 - Mar 7
Bryan was an absolute legend. I knew he had been ill for a while, but still shocked and deeply saddened by this awful news. Condolences to Bryan Knights Family.


Letchworth_Blue added 20:33 - Mar 7
RIP Bryan.....remember always tuning into Radio Orwell whenever we got just past Bury on the A45 to listen to the match preview, and then again on the way home. Even if we lost Bryan would always put a positive spin in things. For me a true ITFC legend.

chepstowblue added 20:40 - Mar 7
Sad news.I remember when there was a telephone number that you could ring to get updates.While he was introducing himself and the radio station you knew immediately by his tone of voice how we were getting on. I listened to a complete 2nd half in my local in Chepstow one evening. 50p followed 50p followed 50p etc. RIP.

sirburley added 20:59 - Mar 7
Yeah I may have remembered it wrong. The 'goal action' alerts were for a goal scored by either team then Bryan would come on and describe what had happened. Well it was a long long time ago...back when there was more than one goal in a game...:)...

superblues9 added 21:16 - Mar 7
Still got the tape recorded off the radio of extra time of Ipswich v Bolton the best game ever at Portman Road him loosing voice when reuser scored ! LEGEND !

pointofblue added 21:23 - Mar 7
RIP Bryan - met him more than once; a lovely guy. My thoughts go to his family and friends at this time.

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