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Legendary Commentator Norman 'Nugget' May Dies, Aged 88

Renowned Australian broadcaster Norman May has died, aged 88.

May, an Australian Sports Hall of Fame member, passed away on Sunday.

May worked fulltime for the ABC between 1958 and 1984, and covered a total of 11 Olympic and 11 Commonwealth Games.

He is perhaps best remembered for his call of Australia's gold medal in the men's swimming 4x100m medley at the 1980 Moscow Olympics - "gold, gold for Australia, gold".

May's broadcasting career began by chance in 1957 when, working as an insurance clerk, he was asked to commentate on a surf lifesaving event in Sydney.

"I lived at a place called North Curl Curl in Sydney, which is a beach out from Manly on the south side of Dee Why," May told the ABC in 2004.

"And Dick Healy, who later became a member of parliament, was the state sporting supervisor.

"He was on a bus one day and I'm travelling to Manly and he said `what are you doing Saturday fortnight?'

"I said 'nothing'. He said 'come to Dee Why, we're covering the surf lifesaving, will you come and be the expert commentator?'.

"I said 'you have got me.' And there it was. No experience. And I started from there."

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Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said May "could make any sporting event spring to life".

"Australians hung on his every word whether Norman was calling rugby, the races, Test cricket or surf lifesaving," Coates said in a statement on Sunday.

"He was passionate, he was entertaining, he loved a drink and a laugh but he was always a true gentleman.

"His job was his life and he had a big impact on all of us who shared his passion for sport."

May was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1983 and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000, the same year he was awarded an Olympic Order.

In 2004 he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Game and in 2009 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

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