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Iconic football commentator Motson dies aged 77
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Jamie Gordon
Legendary BBC commentator John Motson will be fondly remembered by football fans
Legendary BBC commentator John Motson will be fondly remembered by football fans

Football commentator John Motson has passed away at the age of 77.

His iconic voice graced the airwaves for 50 years and the BBC legend racked up almost 2,500 games behind the microphone.

A statement from the Englishman's family confirmed: "It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson died peacefully in his sleep today."

Motson, who was given an OBE for services to sports broadcasting in 2001, began his career as a reporter for the Barnet Press and Sheffield Morning Telegraph before taking a full-time job at the national broadcaster in 1968.

He worked for Match of the Day from 1971 to 2018 and earned his big break when covering Hereford's iconic FA Cup triumph over Newcastle. 

The man affectionately nicknamed Motty, known for his trademark sheepskin coats, oversaw 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and a staggering 29 FA Cup finals, bringing some of football's most memorable moments to fans.

He was in the commentary box for Diego Maradona's superb effort against Belgium as Argentina earned a spot in the 1986 World Cup final and famously quipped "the Crazy Gang has beaten the Culture Club" after Wimbledon stunned Liverpool to lift the FA Cup in 1988.

Paul Gascoigne's solo effort against Scotland at Euro 1996 and England's famous 5-1 victory over Germany in 2001 were also among the highlights of a storied career.

His final game for the BBC was a clash between Crystal Palace and West Brom in 2018, where he was cheered by fans after the game and presented with a framed programme and crystal microphone by then Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.

John Motson was often seen wearing one of his sheepskin coats
John Motson was often seen wearing one of his sheepskin coats

Reacting to the news, fellow commentator Martin Tyler said: "He was a standard setter for us all.

"He was a very serious broadcaster but he was a really fun guy to be around. He had a great sense of humour.

"He was an icon and a beacon to us all.

"I think the legacy that John has left, the soundbites, the voice associated with so many great occasions, so many great goals — it was a great career and a very good life and I’m really sorry it has come to an end today."

On social media, fellow BBC broadcaster and 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker said: "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."

While Jamie Carragher, who lifted the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, added: "RIP John Motson.

"An absolute legend of the game. So many of us grew up listening to this man describe the action and goals on Match of the Day and cup finals. Sad loss."


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