John Motson: Gary Lineker leads tributes after the death of popular BBC commentator and ‘voice of football’

John Motson enjoyed a 50-year career with Match of the Day which saw him commentate on many of football’s biggest events

Motson joined the BBC in 1968 and he went on to establish himself as one of the most well known commentators in the history of football. Motson was best known for his work on Match of the Day where he commentated on almost 2,500 televised matches.

Overall Motson covered many of the sport’s biggest events including 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals during an illustrious career spanning over five decades. Tributes quickly poured in for the beloved football mastermind after his death.

Here’s a sample...

Tributes to John Motson

Match of the Day host and former England striker Gary Lineker was one of the first to react to the death of iconic commentator John Motson. Lineker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 and he worked with Motson for 19 years before his retirement in 2018.

Lineker described Motson as a quite brilliant commentator. He said: “Deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has died. A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He’ll be very much missed. RIP Motty.”

John Motson recieves an award from Roy Hodgson. (Getty Images)John Motson recieves an award from Roy Hodgson. (Getty Images)
John Motson recieves an award from Roy Hodgson. (Getty Images)

Match of the Day presenter Alan Shearer added: “RIP Motty. An Incredible career. The voice.”

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher described Motson as a legend of the game. He said: “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.”

Football commentator Clive Tyldesley described Motson as an idol for him as a teenager. The 68-year-old said: “ As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else. Terribly sad.”

Sky Sports football reporter Geoff Shreeves praised Motson for his kindness when he first started out in the business. He said: “Very sad news that John Motson has passed away. He went out of his way to help me when I was first starting out in the business. A kind man who was always good company. My condolences to Anne and Freddy. R.I.P Motty.”

Former Chelsea and England captain John Terry posted: “RIP John Motson. The Voice of football.”

Former Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara said: “Just heard the news about Motty. Had the pleasure of working with the legendary John Motson on numerous occasions - a true gent. Such a lovely man RIP Motty.”

Former Liverpool and Wales striker Ian Rush tweeted: “Saddened to learn that legendary commentator John Motson has passed away. His memorable commentary and unique voice inspired so many around the world. One of the most iconic and a legend of the game will be dearly missed. Rest in peace ‘Motty’.”

The FA said: “We are very sad to hear that John Motson has passed away. His iconic voice will always be synonymous with football. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP, Motty.”

Former heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno joked that he tried to buy Motson’s coat. He tweeted: “Met John at many events he just called me ‘big man’ . The man was a walking encyclopedia on football. I told him games I’d seen as a boy and he would know scores & who’d played. I offered to buy his coat off him once as a laugh when it was really cold. Sad day for sport.”

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