Monday October 15 2018
Thanks for the magical memories

After the passing of the late, great Peter Brackley, Giancarlo Rinaldi pays tribute to the voice of Football Italia.

He was, for many of us, the voice of our Sunday afternoons. If James Richardson laid the table, it was Peter Brackley who served up the sumptuous treats that Serie A in the 1990s had to offer. To hear of his passing inevitably sent the mind spinning back to the golden age of Football Italia.

He did much more than that, of course, but to calcio fans his commentary will always hold a special place in our hearts. He seemed to produce exactly the right mix of detail and delight in his delivery to do justice to what was surely the greatest league in the world at the time. And all with a dash of humour that made even a 0-0 draw seem much more palatable.

The warmth and rapport with whoever was working with him appeared to draw the best out of the former professionals sitting alongside and helped them to raise their game. He rarely fell into the trap of referring too much to the British game but let Italian football speak for itself. At a time when the nation could justifiably claim to have the best talent on the globe, the commentator brilliantly captured the breathtaking skills on offer.

These were times before televised soccer had saturated our weekends and the big matches had been shuffled around the schedules. Sunday afternoon was already a special time for those of us of Italian ancestry but they became an institution for a whole new audience via Channel 4. The man who described those games was a key part in creating a generation of supporters of Sampdoria, Lazio and the likes in the UK. They, too, will have been sad to hear of his loss.

As much as the Golazzo theme-tune and Gazza’s madcap antics, Peter Brackley was part of something very special for Serie A fans in particular but the wider football-watching family in general. Personally, I will always remember the delight he gave me when he would announce a goal from the Fiorentina match while commentating on some other game. “It’s that man Batistuta again,” he always seemed to say. Just one of the many superstars he helped bring into our homes.

The best commentators are distinctive without detracting from the game, they are informed without becoming irritating and have a tone and tempo that is as wonderful as the sport that they describe. Football Italia found just such a voice that became inextricably linked with the magical matches and performances it brought to our screens. We have all lost a piece of something very special - followers of Calcio in the United Kingdom owe a unique debt to Peter Brackley. We are sad that a voice that lit up our Sunday afternoons has been lost forever but - in time perhaps - we should also celebrate that we were lucky enough to hear him in action as many times as we did.

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Have your say...
So sad to hear of his passing.

I type this now from Italia where I’m on holiday seeing friends. I like so many others have no Italian ancestry or heritage. But the magic of Football Italia on C4 bought me into the world.

The golden age, one that to a young kid was unforgettable.

Thanks for all the memories. You made a real impact on people all C4
on the 17th October, 2018 at 11:12pm
I can hear him commentating now and his unique style and association with football Italia on c4 is part of the fabric of our memories. RIP.
on the 16th October, 2018 at 3:12pm
the atmosphere that we could only experience through our analog TVs with stereo sound. It's almost possible to imagine now with our big and loud TVs and Murdoch/American inspired brash productions. Peter Brackley was the perfect accompaniment to the simpler pleasures from simpler times. And with his passing we're reminded how long ago that was.
on the 16th October, 2018 at 10:26am
"He rarely fell into the trap of referring too much to the British game but let Italian football speak for itself." This was the secret to the Football Italia crew and Peter was an essential part of the whole production. He really did bring so much class to the experience on a Sunday. And it needed that class because despite all of the great players on display, it was more tactical and had a slower pace than English football with more distant crowds that subdued the atmosphere. Peter described
on the 16th October, 2018 at 10:18am
John Motson's voice with hardly any knowledge of world football was constantly shoved down our ears when it came to mainstream and accepted English football commentary. The reality is that Brackley sounded better, was more knowledgeable and unfairly underrated. The only English commentator who I actually looked forward to listening to.
on the 16th October, 2018 at 9:00am
For me he was the greatest. It is so appropriate that his voice and expert delivery reflects the golden era of Serie A.
Loved the likes of Ray Wilkins and Joe Jordan in accompaniment. Unforgettable!
on the 16th October, 2018 at 8:58am
This man was a very good commentator. It's the end of an era. The golden 90's made everyone fall in love with calcio. Peter Brackley was the kingdom on the cake. Am sure he is still commentating in the afterlife.
on the 16th October, 2018 at 5:26am
I am from Canada and used to watch Serie A games every Sunday when I was still a teenager. I remember Peter used to be my favourite commentator because his comments were always on point and was never biased unlike some commentators which can be very annoying. Now I'm in my late 30's and don't watch the games very often like I used to, and but when I saw the news it immediately brought back memories to those Sunday mornings and afternoons. RIP and you will be missed.
on the 16th October, 2018 at 3:12am
It's weird.Hearing his voice in my head brings back all those memories of Italian football on C4 etc all those years ago.Those were the days.
on the 15th October, 2018 at 11:06pm
What terrible news. First Ray Wilkins and now Peter Brackley, both taken from us far too quickly. He had so many great qualities that made him one of the best (right up there with Brian Moore) in the business, with his great voice, passion, intelligence and sharp wit/humour being what stood out the most for me.

Thanks so much for the memories Peter. RIP
on the 15th October, 2018 at 7:03pm
I'm not Italian, have no Italian heritage, and have never lived there. So though I've been many times, I can say the single biggest reason for my love of calcio is Peter, James Richardson and Football Italia.

Agree with you on commentators - so many times I'd rather just hear the atmosphere of the stadium than hear two guys fill the air with humdrum observations and moaning about their pet peeves. Peter always elevated the experience and was a warm and engaging voice. RIP.
on the 15th October, 2018 at 5:10pm
A superb commentator, who will go down in UK broadcasting folklore. A perfect voice and attitude for commentating, his passion came through without being biased or distracting. He was the voice of Sunday afternoon's in my house growing up and he will be greatly missed.
on the 15th October, 2018 at 5:09pm
"Lippi can't believe it, i don't think anyone can, the angle looked impossible!!"

Great Commentator, up there with the very best.
on the 15th October, 2018 at 4:44pm
So sad. His delivery was, along with James Richardson, the voice of Football Italia. That glorious era of Del Piero, Batistuta and all deserved the best advocate and Peter certainly was that.
on the 15th October, 2018 at 4:29pm

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