Sporting world mourns iconic commentator following death aged 77
Honors have piled up for legendary sports commentator John Motson, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 77.
Motson was synonymous with the BBC – where he commentated on over 2,000 matches on TV and radio.
His impressive commentary portfolio has spanned 29 FA Cup finals, 10 World Cups and 10 European Championships.
The BBC confirmed the news on social media, saying: “John Motson, the voice of BBC football coverage aged 50, has died aged 77.”
Former players-turned-broadcasters Gary Lineker, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were also quick to take to social media to pay their respects to the legendary commentator.
Lineker, who has long been the face of BBC’s Match of the Day, said in a tribute: “I am deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has passed away. Quite a brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He will be greatly missed. RIP Motty.’
Ex-Liverpool and England star Carragher tweeted: “RIP John Motson. An absolute legend of the game. So many of us grew up listening to this man describe the action and goals at MOTD and Cup Finals. Sad loss.’
Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Neville, who regularly comments on Sky Sports alongside Carragher, simply wrote “RIP John Motson” with a love heart emoji.
Several other famous faces wanted to pay their respects to the legendary commentator on Thursday.
Ex-Arsenal and Everton star Kevin Campbell tweeted: “Rep John ‘Motty’ Motson, an absolute legend and a gentleman.”
David Baddiel, who used Motson’s iconic voice as part of his and Frank Skinner’s 1996 hit Three Lions, said: “John Motson. hey Feels impossible: a voice that once *was* football. REST IN PEACE.’
sports mail columnist Chris Sutton also paid his respects with a touching tribute which read: “Really sad news to hear of the death of John Motson.
“He was a legendary figure in the commentary box and we will miss him dearly. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Former Liverpool and England captain Phil Thompson, who has since plied his craft with top-flight matches on Sky Sports’ Football Saturday, said: “What a voice, what a man, RIP John Motson.”
Motson was married to wife Anne – the couple had tied the knot in 1977. They have a son together named Fred who was born in 1986.
Motson, the Salford-born son of a Methodist minister, began his career as a reporter at Barnet Press and the Sheffield Morning Telegraph.
Clubs across the country also felt compelled to celebrate the death of such an iconic figure in football.
Recalling Motson’s coverage of the 1981 FA Cup Final between Spurs and Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John Motson. He named one of the most iconic goals in our history and many more. There will never be another like Motty.’
Liverpool described Motson as the “iconic voice of the game” in his tribute, while local rivals Everton called him a “broadcasting legend” and admitted he was “sorryly missed”.
Commenters were also quick to show just how much Motson had inspired them to stir tributes on Twitter.
BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher wrote: “This is such sad news – an iconic commentator with his own distinctive and brilliant style. The soundtrack to watching football when I was young. RIP Motty.’
Ian Darke, another commentator for BT Sport, said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of John Motson.
‘Probably the most famous football commentator of all. Meticulously researched and retaining a boyish enthusiasm and love of the game through half a century of the greatest games, he has set the gold standard.’