BREAKING NEWS: Legendary football commentator John Motson dies aged 77

Legendary football commentator John Motson dies aged 77, as sport mourns sheepskin coat-wearing icon who voiced 2,000 games including 29 FA Cup finals and 10 World Cups

  • John Motson has passed away at the age of 77, it was announced on Thursday
  • Motson was married to wife Anne and they had one son together called Fred

Legendary commentator John Motson – who made wearing a sheepskin coat his trademark – has died aged 77, it has been announced.

Motson was synonymous with the BBC – where he commentated on over 2,000 games on television and radio.

His stunning reel of work included 29 FA Cup finals, 10 World Cups and 10 European Championships.

Motson was married to wife Anne – with the pair having tied the knot in 1977. They have one son together called Fred, who was born in 1986. 

Born in Salford, Motson – the son of a Methodist minister – had stints as a reporter on the Barnet Press and Sheffield Morning Telegraph at the start of his career.

John Motson, who was synonymous for his iconic commentries and sheepskin coat, has died 

Motson – who covered over 2,000 games on television and radio – has passed away aged 77

Motson pictured with his wife Anne – the pair had been married since 1977 and have one child

‘Motty’ as he was affectionally known, joined the BBC on a full-time basis as a sports presenter on Radio 2 in 1968 – having been at BBC Radio Sheffield beforehand.

In 1971 he joined their Match of the Day content and became a regular commentator during the 1971-72 season – with his first match being a 0-0 stalemate between Liverpool and Chelsea.

An iconic moment in his career came that season when he covered the memorable FA Cup replay between Hereford United and Newcastle United.

Non-league Hereford won 2-1 with Ronnie Radford scoring a winner that remains in folklore.

‘Oh what a goal!’ Motson enthused.

‘Radford the scorer. Ronnie Radford! And the crowd are on the pitch. What a tremendous shot by Ronnie Radford.’

That match and moment thrusted him into the spotlight and the affections of the sporting public.

His long career also took in two Olympic Games and Wimbledon’s memorable 1988 FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool at Wembley as the Crazy Gang beat the Culture Club.

Awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting, Motson hung up his microphone for the BBC at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Daily Mail’s cutting of his first FA Cup final ahead of the 1977 match between Manchester United and Liverpool


Ricky Villa goalTottenham 3-2 Manchester City, 1981 replay

‘One of the most iconic cup moments I commentated on,’ Motson says. Few would argue against it being one of the greatest-ever goals in a final as Villa jinked his way through the City defence to win the competition for Spurs.

Steven Gerrard’s equaliserLiverpool 3-3 West Ham, 2006

Liverpool were heading for defeat until Gerrard, their captain marvel, popped up with a screamer from distance to send the match to extra-time before the Reds triumphed on penalties.

Keith Houchen’s diving header – Spurs 2-3 Coventry, 1987

This goal is described as one of the greatest goals in one of the greatest finals. With Coventry trailing 2-1, Houchen flew through the air and headed the ball home to equalise and his side then triumphed in extra time.

Trevor Brooking’s winner – West Ham 1-0 Arsenal, 1980

Brooking was the fastest to react as he turned in a Stuart Pearson strike that had flown across goal in the 13th minute. West Ham held on to win the FA Cup for the third time.

Motty’s first cup final as a commentator – Liverpool 1-2 Man United, 1977

All of the goals in this titanic clash between the two arch-rivals came within four minutes in the second half. Jimmy Greenhoff scored the winner for United.

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