‘The voice of football’: Legendary commentator John Motson dies aged 77

23 February 2023, 09:51 | Updated: 23 February 2023, 18:02

Legendary football commentator John Motson has died aged 77
Legendary football commentator John Motson has died aged 77. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Legendary football commentator John Motson has died aged 77.

John Motson, aka Motty, was the BBC’s ‘voice of football’ from the late 1970s to 2008.

He commented on 10 World Cups, 10 UEFA Championships and 29 FA Cup finals before moving to TalkSport in 2018.

The footballing world has paid tribute to Motty as his death was announced this morning.

Motson's former Match of the Day colleague Gary Lineker said he was "deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has died."

John Motson at last season's FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool
John Motson at last season's FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Picture: Getty

The former England striker added: "A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He’ll be very much missed. RIP Motty."

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell posted a tribute online writing: “Rest in Peace John “Motty” Motson an absolute legend and gentleman.”

Jamie Carragher wrote: "RIP John Motson. An absolute Legend of the game. So many of us grew up listening to this man describe the action & goals on MOTD & cup finals. Sad loss."

Fellow commentator Clive Tyldesley said: "As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else. Terribly sad."

David Baddiel posted online: “John Motson. Oy. Feels impossible: a voice that, at one time, *was* football. RIP.”

Former England star Peter Reid wrote: "John Motson RIP".

Motson had one son, Frederick, who was born in 1986 and was given an OBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting.

Motson became a household name during the early years of sports TV and will be remembered for his iconic sheepskin coat that he wore on the gantry.

The National Football Museum tweeted their tribute saying: "The voice of the game. We are devastated to learn of John Motson's passing at the age of 77. Our thoughts are with John's family and friends at this time."

Boston United, the club that "Motty" said he followed in a 1982 interview, wrote: "RIP John Motson - a man with close historical connections to BUFC and the local area.:

He worked on Match of the Day since 1971 and enjoyed a 50-year career with the BBC.

In 2001 he became an OBE for services to sports broadcasting. He began his career as a sports reporter on Radio 2 and was the voice of football finals for many decades.

In 2014, Motson was diagnosed with bowel cancer and forced to miss the World Cup in Brazil.

He said at the time: “I consider myself very lucky I was diagnosed so early that the cancer was dealt with and the positiveness came about because I wanted to get back into my normal life.

“That drive and determination was probably the most positive thing I could’ve had.”

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