A sad day for football fans, as news breaks that legendary TV commentator John Motson has passed away at the age of 77.

In a prestigious broadcasting career that lasted over 50 years, Motson came to be considered the voice of football on British television.

Breaking the sad news, the BBC note that Motson “covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport before retiring from the organisation in 2018. Popularly known as ‘Motty’, he had worked on Match of the Day since 1971 and commentated on almost 2,500 televised games.”

Born July 1945 in Salford, Motson’s career began as a newspaper writer, and by 1968 he was covering football for the Sunday Telegraph. This paved the way for him becoming a sports presenter for BBC2 later that same year.

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By the early 70s, Motson was a prominent commentator on Match of the Day, and he credited a memorable 1972 match between Hereford United and Newcastle United as the moment that really made his career.

Noted for his memorable voice, a 2001 study conducted by a speech therapist concluded that Motson was considered the ideal British sports commentator.

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In 2001, Motson was awarded an OBE for his services to broadcasting. While he stepped down from live commentary in 2008 (when the BBC lost the rights to cover FA Cup football), Motson would continue to lend his voice to highlights on Match of the Day as well as radio until 2018. On his retirement, he was honoured by BAFTA for his “outstanding contribution to sports broadcasting.”

We extend our deepest sympathies to Motson’s family, including Anne – his wife of over 40 years – and their child Frederick.