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“.

"Football’s not like an electric light – you can’t just flick the button and change from slow to quick."  John Greig
"Celtic manager Davie Hay still has a fresh pair of legs up his sleeve."  John Greig
"Viv Anderson has pissed a fatness test."  John Helm
"In terms of the Richter scale this defeat was a force 8 gale.”  John Lyall 
"Ruud Gullit was able to impose his multi-lingual skills on this match."  John Motson
"Owen scores and breaks Lineker's competitive scoring record. Although this being a friendly it doesn't actual count, so he hasn't quite done it yet."  John Motson
"And Seaman, just like a falling oak, manages to change direction."  John Motson 
"The game is balanced in Arsenal's favour."  John Motson 
"Northern Ireland are ten minutes away from their finest victory. There's 15 minutes to go here."  John Motson 
"For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip"  John Motson 
"We had enough chances to win the game. In fact we did win it."  Alex Smith
"One thing about Germany – they’ll be organised, they’ll be big and they’ll be strong."  Ally McCoist