Keith Jackson dead: Legendary American football broadcaster dies aged 89

Keith Jackson, the voice of American college football, has died aged 89.

The legendary broadcaster spent 56 years covering the sport before his final game in 2006.

NBC Sports’ Todd Harris broke the news on Twitter after Jackson passed away on Friday night surrounded by his family.

Harris wrote, “”The voice of college football and so much more has left us, truly one of the greats in the broadcasting industry.

“I am grateful for my time with a true legend. Thank you for the lessons KJ.”

Jackson served on American channel ABC Sports, and became synonymous with his trademark line “Whoa, Nellie.”

During his time he covered 15 Rose Bowls which he proclaimed was “The Grandaddy of them all” and was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was also honored by both the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame (1994) and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame (1995).

Keith Jackson was involved in sports broadcasting for 56 years
(Image: The Enthusiast Network)
Sports commentator Keith Jackson and camera crew covering a drag racing event
(Image: The Enthusiast Network)

He was the first ‘Monday Night Football’ play-by-play announcer, and in addition to his work on American college football, Jackson also covered the NFL as well as the Olympics and NBA, MLB and college basketball games.

Former Ohio State Quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit posted on social media labelling Jackson as the greatest of all time.

Herbstreit also wrote, “Just heard the news that everyone’s favorite CFB broadcaster Keith Jackson passed away last night.

“Can close my eyes and think of so many of his special calls. Thank you Keith for all the memories and the grace in which you provided them. RIP Keith.”

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