WA racing is in mourning after the death of iconic broadcaster, Max Simmonds.

Simmonds was the ABC’s racing commentator for more than four decades and called his first race under the tutelage of Keith Gollan in 1953.

Born in Midland in 1936, Simmonds was recognised as the ‘voice of WA racing’ and called 42 Perth Cups before his retirement in 2003.

Simmonds also built a special affinity and affection with North-West race clubs and spent three months each year based in Broome.

He called 43 Broome Cups, 33 Port Hedland Cups, 25 Roebourne Cups, 23 Wittenoom Cups, 15 Newman Cups and 10 Kununurra Cups.

In 2013 Simmonds was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to Australian racing.

In 2012 he was among 35 nominees considered for induction to the West Australian Racing Industry Hall of Fame.

TABradio broadcaster, Darren McAullay, said Simmonds was without peer as a caller.

“With respect to Joe Brown and Bill Collins Max was up there with the best of them,” said McAullay.

“His accuracy and ability to nail photo-finishes without the assistance of technology was amazing.

“He was a true professional in every aspect of his craft.

“He had that distinctive voice that was laced in syrup.

“A true gentleman who will be sadly missed.”

Simmonds passed away early on Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer.