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“.

"I'm not a believer in luck, but I do believe you need it."  Alan Ball
"The tackles are coming in thick and thin now."  Alan Brazil
"It would be foolish to believe that automatic promotion is automatic in any way whatsoever."  Dave Bassett 
"Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer"  David Acfield
"I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened though I don’t know into what religion yet."  David Beckham
"Maths is totally done differently to what I was teached when I was at school."  David Beckham
"The game is in a neutral country for both teams."  David Beckham 
"No matter who our opponents are, or who we are playing against, we want to win the game."  David Beckham 
"19 Kenyans started in that race ... and they finished 1-2-3"  David Coleman
"A truly international field, no Britons involved."  David Coleman
"He is accelerating all the time. That last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before in 62."  David Coleman
"He's 31 this year. Last year he was 30"  David Coleman