John Motson: The ‘Voice of Football’ dies aged 77

The legendary commentator John Motson has sadly passed away, aged 77. His career in broadcasting spanned more than 50 years and was a familiar voice on Match of the Day for 46 years. He covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, 29 FA Cup Finals and over 200 England games during his career.

A statement released by his family read: “It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today.” He retired from broadcasting in 2018. An announcement on the BBC Sport website read: “Legendary commentator John Motson, who had an illustrious 50-year career with the BBC, had died aged 77.”

Motson started as a newspaper reporter in Barnet and at the Sheffield Morning Telegraph before joining the BBC in 1968 as a sports presenter on Radio 2. In 2001 he was awarded an OBE for services to Broadcasting. Tributes from the sporting world have poured in today.

Motson’s iconic moments

Ronnie Radford’s goal

In one of Motson’s first Match of the Day commentaries, Ronnie Radford scored a thunderbolt as Hereford equalised in their FA Cup third-round replay against Newcastle in February 1972.

Now Tudor has gone down for Newcastle. Radford again…. what a goal! What a goal! Radford the scorer. Ronnie Radford – the crowd are invading the pitch… and now it will take some time to clear the field.

Hereford went on to win the match in extra-time.

England beating Scotland at Euro 96

One of Paul Gascoigne’s finest moments was at Euro 96 when his goal helped Terry Venables’s side beat Scotland, as he flicked the ball up over Colin Hendry with his left foot before crashing a right-footed volley past Andy Goram.

Oh brilliant! Oh yes! Oh yes!” Motty declared as Gascoigne sprinted to lie on the pitch behind the goal, his arms wide in the ‘dentist’s chair’ celebration.

England get better and better

Goals from Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Emilie Heskey were enough as England came from a goal down to win to claim a remarkable comeback against Germany in a World Cup Qualifier in Munich in 2001 with a 5-1 victory.

Owen completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with Motty blaring out: “Oh, this is getting better and better and better. One, two, three for Michael Owen!


On behalf of the FromTheSpot team and the wider footballing community, we’d like to extend our condolences to John’s family and friends at this difficult time.