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Tributes flood in as legendary commentator John Motson dies aged 77

Tributes flood in as legendary commentator John Motson dies aged 77, confirmed on Thursday morning (23rd February 2023).

Motson covered 10 World Cups and 10 European Championships as well as 29 FA Cup finals. He retired from BBC Sport in 2018.

Known as “Motty”, he was a commentator on nearly 2,500 televised matches and worked on Match of the Day, becoming the voice of football for many generations.

John Motson’s family have released a short statement:

“It is with great sadness that we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today.”

He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting sports.

Motson, son of a Methodist minister, worked briefly as a reporter for the Sheffield Morning Telegraph and Barnet Press at the beginning of his career, before joining  BBC Radio Sheffield in 1968, and worked as a freelancer.

He began his career as a sports reporter at Radio 2 and then moved to Match of the Day, where he covered the FA Cup replay between Newcastle and Hereford four years later.

The segment was originally billed to be five minutes long. Hereford’s shocking 2-1 win – which featured Ronnie Radford’s 30-yard strike – saw the match moved to the main game. Motson taking all the action.

Motson was the voice of the BBC on major finals, such as the FA Cup and European Championships.

This run included his sixth World Cup final in Berlin, 2006, and his 29th FA Cup final.

In 2018, was his final Match of the Day game between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion.

After full time, he was invited to pitch and applauded with Roy Hodgson, then-Palace manager presenting him with a copy of his programme from the Selhurst Park matches and a crystal microphone.


Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) 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. 🎙️ ⚽️”

Kevin Campbell (@1kevincampbell) said: “Rest in Peace John “Motty” Motson an absolute legend and gentleman ❤️”🙏🏿😔

Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) said: “Really sad news to hear of the passing of John Motson. He was a legendary figure in the commentary box and will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Manish Bhasin: “Very sad to hear the news of John Motson passing away. An icon. For many, the voice of football #RIPMotty”

Guy Mowbray: “In shock. Thank you JM 🙏”

Gary Lineker: Deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has died. A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He’ll be very much missed. RIP Motty.

As mentioned, tributes flood in as legendary commentator John Motson dies aged 77…

RIP John Motson ❤️
An absolute legend in football
One of my favourite commentators ever

@whitby_glynn: Legend is a term used too frequently nowadays however it is absolutely fitting here. Motty set the standard for greatness in his career. THE voice of football. Rest in Peace

@jhowes17: Wow. When it comes to commentary, nobody comes close to John Motson. The loss of an absolute legend, someone who was synonymous with football as I was growing up. Rest In Peace, John 🙏

@bardsleybutcher: RIP John Motson, a commentating legend, imo was the best in the game.

@Pmprecious: My favourite commentator of all time. Just the pure excitement in his voice. So many goals were made more memorable by him calling them

@NikkiJude: This is so sad, what a genuine football legend. The voice of football for me growing up. Rest in Peace John 💔

@Mark74NUFC: I grew up listening to John Motson on commentary. He had a unique voice, he genuinely loved football and the research he did before commentating on a match was second to none. The word legend is overused but Motty was indeed a legend. #RIPJohnMotson

@ForbesTiffer: Aw no, this is such sad news. The voice of mine and many others lives. Rest well now Motty 😢

@MBBWFC147: 😔 An absolutely iconic figure in football. Old school commentator. One of the very best. R.I.P John

@Rsstone14B: FA Cup finals, big matches, John Moston was there commentating. One of my favourite commentators with Brian Moore

@joe90skelton: Truly sad news an icon of the game, his words and emotion somehow made the game even better ❤️❤️

@johnnyvac1984: Could even make a dull game sound exciting! One of the very best! #ripmotty

@HubbaCubba: Gutted. Absolutely gutted. Listening to Barry Davies and Motty were so much a part of my childhood. RIP

@markpmakey: Absolutely… he was a top man and what a voice..knowledge of the game immense and such charisma…may he Rest in Peace

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