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23rd Feb 2023

Football world pays tribute to legendary commentator John Motson

Charlie Herbert

Gary Lineker described him as the ‘voice of football for generations.’

Figures from across the world of football have paid tribute to John Motson following the news of his death. On Thursday morning, it was confirmed that the legendary commentator had passed away at the age of 77.

“It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today (Thursday),” said a statement from Motson’s family.

Best known for his time covering football on the BBC, Motson covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport before retiring from the organisation in 2018.

Over an illustrious career spanning 50 years, he commentated on almost 2,500 televised games.

Since the news of his passing broke, tributes have poured in from those who knew and worked with Motty.

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said he was “the voice of football in this country for generations.”

LiverpoolLiverpool legend Jamie Carragher labelled Motson an “absolute legend of the game,” whilst commentator Clive Tyldesley said: “As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else.”

Comedian David Baddiel said the news of his death “feels impossible,” adding that the commentator “was the voice of football.”

Meanwhile, many have been sharing clips of some of Motty’s most iconic commentary moments.

Motty’s final game for Match of the Day was between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion in 2018.

He was invited onto the pitch after the final whistle and applauded by the fans before then-Palace manager Roy Hodgson presented him with a framed copy of the programme from his first and last matches at Selhurst Park and a crystal microphone.

Motson became an OBE in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting.

He was also honoured at the British Academy Film and Television Awards (Bafta) in 2018 for his “outstanding contribution to sports broadcasting”.