John Motson, the football commentator who became synonymous with English football throughout his 50-year career with the BBC, has died aged 77.
Motson retired in 2018 after winning 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, 29 FA Cup Finals and more than 200 for England.
‘Mottie’, who started working for Match of the Day in 1971 and commenting on more than 2,500 games, has been a huge hit with generations of football fans. and is famous for his sheepskin coat
Motson was the son of a Methodist minister. Born in Salford, Lancashire, after starting out as a newspaper reporter for the Barnet and Sheffield Morning Telegraph, he joined the BBC in 1968 as a sports presenter on Radio 2.
Motson’s comments on Ronnie Radford’s famous long-distance attack, which helped non-league Hereford beat Newcastle in the top flight out of the FA Cup in 1972, earned him top billing in the Match of the Day, which made him the FA Cup winner. It is the focus and love of the public sport.
Enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the game Players and Team Managers make him in the hearts of the fans for five decades
Current Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker described Motson as “the brilliant commentator and voice of football in this country for generations”.
Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler says he is the standard-bearer for those who follow.
“John set the standard for all of us,” says Tyler. “Basically we all looked up to him. His diligence, his dedication, his knowledge He is a very serious announcer. But he’s a fun guy to be around.”
Fellow commentator Clive Tyldesley wrote on Twitter: “As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else.”
Jim Rosenthal, fellow announcer saluting “King of Mike Football”
Contemporary broadcasters enjoy a friendship that dates back to the early 1970s as they established themselves as household names in British sports coverage. And Rosenthal had little doubt about Motson’s place in the Pantheon.
He said: “The truth is there are a lot of football commentators now. Which is very difficult for anyone to hold onto the country like Motty did because there are only two shows in town and to be honest the BBC is the main show and Motty had that era.
“I know him and Barrie. Davies has always played against each other. But it’s possible for commentators to dominate the sport. Motty dominates football, Peter O’Sullevan dominates motor racing, Bill McLaren dominates rugby.
“It was a different era and in that era, Monty was undoubtedly the king of Mike Football.
Motson’s long career also included involvement in two Olympic Games and Wimbledon’s memorable 1988 FA Cup final victory against Liverpool at Wembley.
Rosenthal, 75, said: “He’s a symbol. Just a great announcer He delivers a catchy line when it matters – ‘The Crazy Gang beat Culture Club’ – and an instantly recognizable voice too. you only want A few words to go ‘That’s Motty’
“He has had a great career and far from everything. Always be generous Be considerate of his time.
“He has been a good friend for many years. We played together in the Little Narrator’s soccer team. And he’s a better commentator than a player, as he admits.
“It’s a sad day for the broadcast. It is a sad day for a lot of people on a personal level as well.”
Motson hung up his microphone for the BBC at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season and after his last game – Crystal Palace v West Brom – he was invited to the pitch.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson made a special presentation and Motson received warm applause from the fans.