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03rd Mar 2022

John ‘Motty’ Motson reveals his top 50 football matches in history


Sponsored by Fanz

Motty began his commentating career in 1971

John Motson, or as many know him as, Motty, boasts an infamous voice. If you’ve watched football on television at any point in the last 40 years, you’re likely to have heard him commentating on a match.

Starting his career with the BBC in 1971, he has commentated on over 2000 games on television and radio.

After a glittering career in the industry, Motson hung up the microphone in 2008, retiring from live television commentary.

He continued to cover matches for Match of the Day highlights, as well as appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live, but eventually announced his full retirement from BBC commentary in 2017.

In a career which saw him commentate on 10 FIFA World Cups, 10 UEFA European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals, Motson has witnessed some truly special fixtures, and a host of historic moments.

But which games stand out for him? He spoke to JOE and identified his 50 top games in history, which will be turned into NFTs with

Motty’s chosen 50 games will soon be available as 10,000 unique NFTs, with the collection – a 3D designed fully animated NFTs – featuring his voice on the club traits.

Fans will not just be owning a picture. Instead, they will have a memory personal to a game that they, or someone they know, may have attended or have close to their heart – and one that will last forever on the blockchain.

Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool, September 13 1978

Brian Clough’s side defied the odds and won the 1978/79 European Cup with a 1-0 win against Malmo in the final at the Olympiastadion stadium in Munich.

On route to the final, they came up against Liverpool – creating a mouthwatering all-English tie that supporters couldn’t wait to watch.

Forest won the first-leg 2-0 at the City Ground, with goals from Garry Birtles and Colin Barrett putting them in pole position heading into the second-leg at Anfield.

A goalless draw in the second-leg was enough to send Clough’s men into the second-round as it was then, and the rest is truly history.

Motson suggested that, thanks to the Forest manager, the pair were able to create some truly memorable interviews – adding that after the match against Liverpool, Clough made a remark about people’s opinions of the club.

“Brian Clough and I did some great interviews, I say they were great because of him, not because of me,” said Motson.

“After Liverpool had lost to Nottingham Forest in the European Cup, he [Clough] said, ‘And maybe sometime John, in the near future, people will sort of start to believe that we’re quite a good side.'”

Argentina vs England, 1986 World Cup

It is a game that is remembered for two iconic moments: one of which was a piece of genius, the other, well, not so much.

At the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, England faced-off against Argentina. The Three Lions went 1-0 down through a highly controversial goal from Argentina’s star player Diego Maradona, who palmed the ball into the England net with his hand.

Despite the understandable complaints from the England players, the referee gave the goal – which was later dubbed the “Hand of God goal” following Maradona’s tongue-in-cheek description of how it was scored.

The tricky attacker then scored his and Argentina’s second of the game with a simply stunning solo goal. In 2002, it was voted as the best goal in World Cup history.

Argentina went on to win the tournament, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final.

While the Argentine made headlines for the wrong reasons, Motson believes that nobody would ever have surpassed the late Maradona, and believes that the Azteca Stadium – where the game was played – is the best he has commentated at.

He said: “In the Azteca Stadium, probably the best stadium I’ve ever been in, in my commenting career.

“And Maradona was in his peak then, which put Argentina in the final against West Germany as it was then and lo and behold, he made the winning goal for Burruchaga.

“I don’t think anybody really would ever have surpassed Maradona.”

Motty’s top 50 games in history (in no particular order):

League Division One, Liverpool 3-2 Arsenal, 1964, Anfield

League Division One, Derby County 4-4 Manchester United, 1970, Baseball Ground

League Division One, Leeds 7-0 Southampton, 1972, Elland Road

League Division Two, Tottenham Hotspur 9-0 Bristol Rovers, 1977, White Hart Lane

League Division One, Manchester City 0-1 Luton Town, 1983, Maine Road

League Division One, Liverpool 5-0 Nottingham Forest, 1988, Anfield

FA Cup 3rd round, Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal, 1992, Racecourse Ground

FA Cup Final, Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers, 1953, Wembley

FA Cup 3rd round replay, Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United, 1972, Edgar Street

FA Cup Final, Liverpool 0-1 Wimbledon, 1988, Wembley

FA Cup Final, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal, 2001, Millenium Stadium

World Cup Group D 1st group stage, Scotland 3-2 Netherlands, 1978, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas

World Cup Quarter Final, Argentina 2-1 England, 1986, Estadio Azteca

World Cup Semi Finals, Germany 1(4p)-1(3p) England, 1990, Stadio Delle Alpi

World Cup Finals 2nd round, Argentina 2(4p)-2(3p) England, 1998, Geoffroy Stadium

World Cup Final, England 4-2 West Germany, 1966, Wembley Stadium

ECW Cup 3rd round 2nd leg, Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona, 1984, Old Trafford

European Cup Quarter-final 2nd leg, Benfica 1-5 Manchester United, 1966, Estadio da Luz

European Cup Final, Manchester United 4-1 Benfica, 1968, Wembley

FA Cup 5th round, Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday, 1958, Old Trafford

FA Cup Final, Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool, 1977, Wembley Stadium

FA Cup Final replay, Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace, 1990, Wembley Stadium

Premier League, Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 1993, Old Trafford

UEFA Champions League Semi-final 2nd leg, Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, 1999, Stadio Delle Alpi

FA Cup Semi-final replay, Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United, 1999, Villa Park

UEFA Champions League Final, Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, 1999, Nou Camp

UEFA Champions League Final, Chelsea 1(5p)-1(6p) Manchester United, 2008, Luzhniki Stadium

FA Cup Final, Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool, 1996, Wembley Stadium

European Cup Final, Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1977, Stadio Olimpico

European Cup Final, Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid, 1981, Parc des Princes

FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3-1 Everton, 1986, Wembley Stadium

FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3-2 Everton, 1989, Wembley Stadium

UEFA Champions League Final, AC Milan 3(2p)-3(3p) Liverpool, 2005, Atatürk Olympic Stadium

Premier League, Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle United, 1996, Anfield

European Cup Final, AS Roma 1(2p)-1(4p) Liverpool, 1984, Stadio Olimpico

FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3(3p)-3(1p) West Ham, 2006, Millenium Stadium

UEFA Champions League Semi-final 2nd leg, Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona, 2019, Anfield

League Division One Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal, 1989, Anfield

FA Cup Final, Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United, 1979, Wembley

FA Cup Final, Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, 1997, Wembley

FA Cup Final replay, Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Manchester City, 1981, Wembley

Premier League, Manchester City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers, 2012, Etihad Stadium

Premier League, Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United, 1996, St James’ Park

UEFA European Cup Winners Cup Final, Rapid Wien 1-3 Everton, 1985, Stadion de Kuip

FA Cup Final, Leicester City 1-0 Chelsea, 2021, Wembley

Association football match, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Budapest Honved, 1954, Molineux

League Division One, Manchester United 3-5 West Brom, 1978, Old Trafford

European Cup Final, Bayern Munich 0-1 Aston Villa, 1982, Stadion Feijenoord

European Cup Final, Malmo FF 0-1 Nottingham Forest, 1979, Olympiastadion

Womens World Cup Final, USA 0(5p)-0(4p) China, 1999, Rose Bowl

Motty’s top 10 matches will be released soon. Follow here for more information:, or visit:

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