BBC Stalwart John Motson To Retire After 50 Years In The Football Commentary Racket

Chris Wright

6th, September 2017


The BBC have announced that, after half a century behind the microphone, John Motson is retiring from the commentary game at the end of the current season.

Motson reduced his workload when he stopped doing live broadcasts a season or three ago, and will now commentate on 18 further Premier League matches for Match of the Day before calling it quits with the FA Cup Final coverage next May.

While he may have become at little caricaturish and off-the-pace over the past couple of years, Motty, his perfectly pitched hooting and his vast reservoir of knowledge and trivia will forever be part of the English football tapestry.

He’s rabbited over 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals, producing a glut of timeless utterances: Ronnie Radford, Michael Platini, ‘England have done it in the last minute of extra time‘, etc.

Here’s a couple of stand-out gems from the Motty archives, starting with a curt appraisal of Germany’s attacking options at Euro 96…

And this, a genuine modern classic of the falsetto commentary genre (and the last time Pies genuinely guffawed out loud while watching football on television)…

Sounds odd to say, but there’s a good chance he won’t be overly missed (he’s been a bit doddery for a while now), but Motty will certainly be remembered fondly long after the majority of your ilk have faded into obscurity.

Taken as a whole, the man has had a cracking innings up in the gantry.

Posted in Media, Newsnow, Opinion

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  1. other dave says:

    As a young American, I was fascinated by John Motson’s commentary in FIFA 1998. It was so foreign compared to the in-your-face hyperbolic talking sports heads we have in the states. Your points are well taken, Pies but I guess living away from the UK for my life has given me Motty tinted glasses. He is a great football voice. Would certainly rather listen to him than the likes of Peter Drury every week!

  2. François Hector Mointaineuff von Woumbleyer says:

    Nothing compares to the dulcet tones of Martin Tyler.

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