John Motson has died at the age of 77

John Motson speaks on BBC Sport prior to The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.
(Image credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

John Motson, legend of football commentary, has died at the age of 77.

Motty was the voice of BBC football for decades, commentating on over 2000 games, after joining the BBC in 1968. Motson got his big breakthrough when he commentated on the Hereford United vs Newcastle United FA Cup giantkilling in 1972, in which Ronnie Radford scored the shock winner. The game was bumped up on Match of the Day, giving Motson high exposure.

Motson commentated on his first FA Cup final in 1977, between Manchester United and Liverpool, when he was drafted in as a late replacement for David Coleman and was the commentator during the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. 

He retired from live TV commentary in 2008 from commentary, when the BBC refused to release him to Setanta Sports, following the loss of the Beeb's FA Cup rights. Motty's final live TV broadcast was the Euro 2008 final, though he continued to cover games for Match of the Day highlights.

In 2018, Motson retired fully from commentary. His final TV commentary for MOTD was a match between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion and was broadcast on the BBC show in May 2018. 

Motty was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2001, and was a Barnet fan. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.