Photo of David ColemanColemanballs have probably been around since man first learned to speak, but they get their name from David Coleman, pretty much the master of the art, both in what he said, and how often he said them.

They’re most closely – though not exclusively – associated with sport, and sports commentators. Perhaps it’s the speed at which things can happen which so often results in things being said that, if you had the time to think about it, you’d probably have phrased differently.

Nowadays pretty much any subject can become a sub-set of these by adding ‘-balls’ to the end of the subject, just like Watergate spawned a plethora of subjects, perceived to be a cover-up of one form or another, such as Diana-gate, Iraq-gate, etc.

Possibly the most well known Colemanball, and still one of my personal favourites, is a comment made on Pot Black, a televised snooker tournament.

“And for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green”Ted Lowe

Ted Lowe was almost as prolific as David Coleman when it came to making on-air gaffes. He once told viewers that one player, struggling to rest one leg on the edge of the table in order to reach a long shot, “is getting on a bit and is having trouble getting his leg over“.

"When England go to Turkey there could be fatalities – or even worse, injuries."  Phil Neal
"The five thousand or so volunteers are breaking their backs to make sure it's a success"
  Radio 4 commentator, on the Paralympics
"It's 1-1, an exact reversal of the score on Saturday."  Radio 5 Live commentator
"He says that he will walk away from the game when his legs go."  Radio Commentator
"Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."  Radio commentator
"Yes, six inches either side of the post and that would have been a goal."  Radio commentator
"Henning Berg, one of the players classified as a foreigner, which obviously as a Norwegian is something he's used to."  Radio commentator
"And some 500 Italians made the trip, in a crowd of only 400."  Radio Commentator
"....and so they have not been able to improve their 100% record."  Radio Commentator
Ogrizovic was in two minds as to whether to go or stay and in the end he did neither."  Radio commentator
"Football's like a big market place and people go to the market every day to buy their vegetables."  Bobby Robson
"If you don't score you are not going to win a match."  Bobby Robson