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“.

"Paolo di Canio is capable of scoring the goal he scored."  Bryan Robson 
"He may well yet pull his team from the edge of the cliff by the scruff of its neck into the land of milk and honey."  Jonathan Hayward
"We were in an awkward position against Yugoslavia in that in order to win we needed to score more goals than they did."  Jose Antonio Camacho 
"To be a good player in the Premiership you have to perform on the pitch, as it is everywhere."  Kanu
"The world is my lobster."  Keith O’Neill
"I never make forecasts but whoever wins that game will win the final.”  Ken Bates
"Gary always weighs up his options, especially when he has no choice"  Kevin Keegan
"What disappointed me was that we didn't play with any passion. I'm not disappointed, you know, I'm just disappointed."  Kevin Keegan
"We deserved to win this game after hammering them 0-0 in the first half."  Kevin Keegan
"Chile have three options - they could win or they could lose."  Kevin Keegan
"The new season will be all about scoring more goals than the opposition."  Alvin Martin
"Unless the chairman decides to sack me, I won’t be quitting."  Carlton Palmer