Sad news from the world of Australian sport today, with word that hugely beloved and iconic sports broadcaster Les Murray passed away earlier this morning. He was 71.

SBS confirmed Murray’s passing after a battle with illness mere moments ago.

Murray was the most prominent and pre-eminent voice in Australian association football broadcasting, having served as the host of the SBS’s World Cup broadcasts since 1986.

Murray was also the host of, and regular contributor to ‘The World Game‘ from its inception in 2001 right up until his retirement in 2014.

His popularity and depth of knowledge for the game helped spur its continued rise in popularity in Australia, and in 2003 his body of work was recognised by the FFA with an induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Broadcasters and prominent personalities have begun posting tributes to Murray on Twitter, as news of his passing spreads.

Vale, Les Murray. A titan of the sport. And a loss that will be felt throughout the great game, both in Australia and beyond.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe.