John Motson: Legendary football commentator dies, aged 77

23 February 2023, 10:37 | Updated: 23 February 2023, 10:52

John Motson has died aged 77
John Motson has died aged 77. Picture: AMA/Corbis via Getty Images
Radio X

By Radio X

The legendary commentator, known affectionately as Motty, has sadly passed away.

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Radio X

By Radio X

John Motson has died aged 77.

The legendary football commentator - who was known affectionately as Motty, covered 10 World Cups and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport before retiring from the organisation in 2018 - has sadly passed away it has been confirmed.

Figures from the world of sport and entertainment have begun to pay tribute to the star, with former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher writing: "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 MOTD and cup finals. Sad loss."

David Baddiel wrote: "John Motson. Oy. Feels impossible: a voice that, at one time, *was* football. RIP. (sic)"

TalkSPORT broadcaster Jim White tweeted: "Sad news, legendary football commentator John Motson has died. He was 77."

Former England footballer and BBC pundit 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."

READ MORE: Celebrities and public figures we lost in 2022

John Motson has died aged 77
John Motson retired in 2018. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Motson made his breakthrough on Match of the Day in 1972 when commentating on a famous FA Cup replay between underdogs Hereford and top flight side Newcastle United.The match ended up being the main game on the show after Hereford secured a shock 2-1 win, with John remembered for his commentary of Ronnie Radford's sublime 30-yard strike.

The commentator - who was awarded an OBE for services to sports broadcasting in 2001 - commentated his final game for Match of the Day in 2018, when he took the mic for a Premier League fixture between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion. He was given a standing ovation on the pitch after the match.

In 2021, the star admitted he was glad he didn't have to worry about shirt numbers in the Premier League since retiring.
He said: "The difficult bit now, and this is the bit why I'm glad I'm not still doing it anymore, is the shirt numbers.

"In my day they were always 1-11. Now the numbers go up to 50-something. I'd find that difficult.

"And also the number of substitutes. Dealing with one player coming on and one going off was OK in the early 70s.

"Now you've got up to nine subs on the bench and any three of whom could
come on.

"I always found in my later years working out who was coming on was bad enough, but trying to remember who had gone off was even harder. I found that juxtaposition quite tricky."

John Motson's cause of death is not yet known.

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