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23rd Feb 2023

Former BBC commentator John Motson dies aged 77

Callum Boyle

John Motson

RIP John Motson

The former commentator and much-loved sporting figure, John Motson, has died at the age of 77.

Motson was best known for his time as a commentator with the BBC, starting his career with the company in 1971 after finishing his professional footballing days with Dulwich Hamlet and was regularly spotted wearing a sheepskin jacket.

He commentated on almost 2,500 televised games over a career spanning half a century.

After working as a reporter on the Barnet Press and Sheffield Morning Telegraph at the start of his career, he joined the BBC on a full-time basis in 1968

His breakthrough moment came during the famous FA Cup tie between Hereford United and Newcastle United in which Ronnie Radford scored the winning goal for Hereford.

His line “Oh what a goal! Radford the scorer. Ronnie Radford! And the crowd are on the pitch. What a tremendous shot by Ronnie Radford,” is considered one of the most famous in sporting commentary.

After almost 30 years commentating on some of the biggest domestic and international fixtures, Motson announced his retirement in 2008 after covering 10 World Cups – including a a record-breaking sixth World Cup final in Berlin in 2006 –  10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport.

In 2001, Motson was awarded an OBE for his services to football and made a brief return to the gantry in 2018 after announcing that he was going to start working for TalkSPORT.

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell was one of those to pay tribute, tweeting: “Rest in Peace John “Motty” Motson an absolute legend and gentleman.”

Comedian David Baddiel also said: “John Motson. Oy. Feels impossible: a voice that, at one time, *was* football. RIP.

Jamie Carragher tweeted: “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.”

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

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