John Motson's death at 77 sparks outpouring of grief around football world
The iconic football commentator is being remembered as the voice of a generation.
Tributes are pouring in across the football world after the death of legendary British commentator, John Motson, at the age of 77. Prince William - who is the the president of the Football Association (FA) - was among the countless fans from around the world to pay their respects to a man he described as "a legend whose voice was football".
Motson, affectionally nicknamed "Motty", retired in 2018 after a distinguished 50-year career with the BBC that included a UK state honour (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting. Motson's family confirmed news of the legendary broadcaster's death.
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"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. The House of Commons heard tributes to Motson and a spokesman for the new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the nation's leader "offers his condolences".
"He was a legend of the game," the spokesman said. "He was the voice of football for millions of people across the country. He will be deeply missed by fans and the entirety of the football community."
Motson hung up his microphone for the BBC at the end of the 2017/18 Premier League season, having played an integral part of the biggest club competition in world football, since the 1992/93 season. BBC director-general Tim Davie said: "John Motson was the voice of a footballing generation - steering us through the twists and turns of FA Cup runs, the highs and lows of World Cups and, of course, Saturday nights on Match of the Day.
"Like all the greats behind the mic, John had the right words, at the right time, for all the big moments." Over his five decades in the commentary box, Motson covered a staggering ten World Cups, ten European Championships, 29 FA Cup finals and more than 200 games for the England national side.
Current Match of the Day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker described Motson on Twitter as "a quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations". Motson's first radio commentary was a match between Everton and Derby in 1969 before he became a household name three years later calling BBC's Match of the Day.
Football world remembers iconic commentator John Motson
Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said: "John Motson was a giant of broadcasting with a career spanning over 50 years and his distinctive voice has gone hand in glove with so many great footballing moments. For so many of us, John's voice will have provided a special memory and commentary line that still strongly resonates.
"He had an extraordinary passion for the game and his enthusiasm behind the microphone captured the experience and excitement felt by fans in the stands, all delivered with his unique style. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family."
Unsurprisingly, news of Motson's death has sparked an outpouring of sadness across the sporting world. Liverpool great Jamie Carragher was another to describe the iconic caller as an "absolute Legend of the game".
“Here’s Gascoigne, oh brilliant, oh yes! Oh yes!”
We each have our own Motty moment. For me, it’ll forever be Euro 96 and Gazza’s genius.
RIP John Motson. pic.twitter.com/1mTS6UcCsA
— Sanny Rudravajhala (@SannyR1985) February 23, 2023
RIP John Motson 💔
An absolute Legend of the game.
So many of us grew up listening to this man describe the action & goals on MOTD & cup finals. Sad loss.
🎙️ ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/R9nWShRTzD
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 23, 2023
Very sad to hear about the passing of John Motson - a legend whose voice was football. My thoughts are with his family and friends. W
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) February 23, 2023
Just heard the sad news about Motty 😢 Had the pleasure of working with the legendary John Motson on numerous occasions - a true gent. Such a lovely man RIP Motty pic.twitter.com/sewh10lG4w
— Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy) February 23, 2023
Morning John Motson RIP met John on many events he just called me "Big Man" the man was a walking encyclopedia on Football I told him games I'd seen as a boy he knew score's & who'd played. I offered 2 buy his coat off him once as a laugh when it was really cold sad day for Sport pic.twitter.com/RMG1vOpibE
— Frank Bruno MBE 🇬🇧 (@frankbrunoboxer) February 23, 2023
Legendary commentator John Motson, who had an illustrious 50-year career with the BBC, has died aged 77.
The sporting world has lost an icon 💔 pic.twitter.com/QGi35k1ehR
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) February 23, 2023
As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else. Terribly sad.
— Clive Tyldesley (@CliveTyldesley) February 23, 2023
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of John Motson.
One of the greatest commentators of his generation, he was synonymous with so many of the beautiful game's most incredible moments.
Rest in peace, John ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xr6R2lpYVV
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 23, 2023
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