Soccer expert TV radio presenter Damien Lovelock and FIFA World Cup trophy 26 May 2006.
Soccer expert TV radio presenter Damien Lovelock and FIFA World Cup trophy 26 May 2006.

Football mourns death of a ‘true giant’

THE tributes flooded in after Damien Lovelock lost his battle with cancer at the age of 65 on Saturday.

Lovelock made a name for himself as the frontman of Australian rock band The Celibate Rifles, but it was his work behind the microphone and on camera where the sporting world came to know him.

Alongside the former Mr Football Les Murray, Lovelock displayed his eccentric character much to the delight of the viewing audiences.

His work on the SBS program The World Game also led to him covering football for Sky News Australia as well as covering the World Cup for ABC Radio.

Along with his penchant for football, Lovelock held a love for yoga and was even hired by the NSW Blues State of Origin team to teach the group Ryoho yoga.

He was also brought on board by A-League sides the Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC.

Former Socceroos player and now SBS Chief Football analyst Craig Foster led the way with a moving tribute to Lovelock on his Instagram page.

"Sending love back home from India to all our friends and family of the great Damien Lovelock at the terribly sad passing of an Australian music legend and part of our SBS football family. Damo was an incredibly passionate, articulate and knowledgeable fan and commentator whose historical knowledge of World Cups in particular was forensic and always expressed in that laconic, clever and amusing manner that we so enjoyed. A brilliant person, a life artfully lived that touched all who called him a friend, and many more besides. We loved him, and he'll be missed by all who had the joy of knowing and working with him. Goodbye mate, say hi to your great friend and singing partner Les," Foster wrote.

SBS TV's chief football host Lucy Zelic posted a touching tribute following the loss of a "true giant".

"This made me smile and Les's laugh made it even sweeter. Boy, it's been such a rough couple of years. We've had to say goodbye to some true giants within the football community, both in this clip and out. It doesn't get any easier because they don't make them like this anymore," Zelic tweeted.

Fellow former Socceroo and Melbourne Victory director of football Francis Awaritefe thanked Lovelock for the "friendship" and "hilarious stories".

The tributes from those within the sporting industry to have worked with and known Lovelock continued to flood in after the news of his death broke.