John Motson and the BBC announce his final football season after fifty years
Today’s announcement follows fifty consecutive years with the BBC that have seen Motson cover 10 World Cups, 29 FA Cup finals, 10 European Championships and more than two hundred England games.
The announcement comes as Motson makes his return to Match of the Day at Brighton v West Bromwich Albion this weekend. He has been commentating for the programme since 1971.
After starting out as a sports reporter on Radio 2 in 1968, the man affectionately known as Motty, made his first major breakthrough on Match of the Day during the iconic FA Cup replay between Hereford and Newcastle four years later.
Originally billed as a five-minute segment, Hereford's shock 2-1 win - thanks to Ronnie Radford's famous 30-yard strike - saw the match promoted to the main game with John providing an extraordinary commentary that put him firmly on the map.
From 1979 to 2008 he was the BBC's voice on major cup finals such as the FA Cup, European Championships and World Cup. That run included his record-breaking sixth World Cup final in Berlin in 2006 and his 29th FA Cup final in 2008; an achievement not matched by any other commentator.
Fans of the much-loved Motson will be pleased to hear that before he leaves Match of the Day he will embark on a ‘farewell tour’, commentating at eighteen different Premier League grounds.
John Motson says: “I’ve absolutely loved my time commentating for BBC Sport and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness some of the biggest moments in football history mere yards away from the action, so I’ve really been very lucky.”
John was crowned Britain’s most beloved commentator in 2001 by sport fans on the BBC Sport website.
Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport says: “John Motson is a real asset to the football world and he will be sorely missed. It isn’t hard to see why he is so highly treasured, not just by the BBC but also by the nation, due to his instantly recognisable voice, wonderful sense of humour and his incredible dedication to the sport.”
“As he moves on from commentating for BBC Sport, we wish him the best of luck for the future.
September 6, 2017 4:58am ET by BBC One