Les Murray, Australia's "Mr. Football," dies at age 71

Published 11:59 p.m. ET July 30, 2017 | Updated 3:35 a.m. ET July 31, 2017

SYDNEY (AP) — Les Murray, long considered Australia’s pre-eminent soccer commentator, has died after a battle with illness. He was 71.

The SBS network, where Murray started working when it launched in 1980, confirmed Monday that the long-time broadcaster had passed away. It did not give further details.

“Les will be remembered not just for his 35-year contribution to football in Australia, but for being a much-loved colleague, mentor and friend who has left a unique legacy,” SBS said in a statement. “To say he will be sorely missed is an understatement.”

Generations of Australians regarded Murray as the country’s “Mr. Football,” SBS said.

“His role went far beyond being a football commentator,” the SBS statement said. “The growth, popularity and success of football in Australia today is absolutely a reflection of his passion and advocacy for the game that he loved. “

Murray, who was born in Hungary in 1945 and moved to Australia in 1957, was survived by his partner, Maria, and his daughters Tania and Natalie.

“No one better embodied what SBS represents than Les Murray. From humble refugee…

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