'Gooooool' announcer dies

2006-05-24 07:47

Mexico City - Legendary sportscaster Angel Fernandez, one of the best-known voices in the history of Mexican radio and television, died on Tuesday in Mexico's capital after a prolonged illness. He was 80.

Fernandez called baseball games and boxing matches but was best known for his work in soccer, where he began broadcasts with the famous phrase: "For all those who love and cherish and soccer..."

He is also known for being one of the first to yell "Goooooooool!" when teams scored during soccer matches. That tradition was not only copied by a generation of Mexican broadcasters but was well-known throughout the soccer world and even became a phenomenon in the United States when it hosted the World Cup in 1994.

Having survived a trio of strokes, the last of which came in 2001, Fernandez's health deteriorated in recent weeks. He died at Mexico City's Hospital Angeles del Pedregal, and is survived by his wife, Lucrecia Gris and eight children. His son Ali is a former Mexican League player.

Born on August 2, 1925, in Mexico City, Fernandez became a Mexican institution with his soccer broadcasts throughout the 1970s and still worked for Mexico City's W radio, which made the official announcement of his death.

Fernandez was "without a doubt a poet of a sports commentator who was one of the most-recognized voices on a national scale," Mexico's largest television network, Televisa, wrote in an obituary posted on its website on Tuesday. "They say he made a bad soccer game something incredible with his broadcasts."