John Motson Death: Legendary ‘BBC’ Commentator Passed Away At 77!

One of the most famous British football announcers, John Motson, has died at the age of 77. Unbelievably, the beloved face of football has passed away, leaving behind a circle of heartbroken loved ones. He also had a stellar 50-year career with the BBC. After retiring as a player for Dulwich Hamlet FC in 1971, he went on to work as a television analyst for the BBC.

Fans and loved ones of the analyst have been paying tribute to him and sending their condolences to his family since the news broke online. All accounts indicate that John Motson passed away on Thursday, February 23, 2023.

He had been a commentator on Match Of The Day since its inception in 1971. “It is with great regret that we announce the passing of John Motson OBE today,” reads the statement released by Motson’s family. Back in 1968, he was engaged as a sports presenter for Radio 2, before becoming a part of BBC Channel. Read on for further information on this.

Who Was John Motson?

Commentator for the English national football team, John Walker Motson OBE. He began his career as a television commentator with the BBC in 1971 and has since called more than 2000 games for both the BBC and other networks.

In the decades between the late 1970s and 2008, Motson was the BBC’s go-to man for football commentary (with the exception of a brief period in the mid-1990s). In December 1990, he “battled horizontal sleet showers ahead of Wycombe Wanderers’ FA Cup clash with Peterborough United” while sporting his now-iconic sheepskin coat.

John Motson Death

Motson left the field of live television commentary in 2008. Aside from commentating on CBeebies’ Footy Pups, he also continues to cover games for Match of the Day highlights and make appearances on BBC Radio 5 Live.

After commentating on 10 FIFA World Cups, 10 UEFA European Championships, and 29 FA Cup finals, he announced his retirement from BBC commentary in September 2017. He had been retired for a while, but in July 2018 he made the decision to come out of retirement and rejoin Talksport.

John Motson Personal Life

Anne and Motson made their home in Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire. They celebrated 45 years of marriage. His only child was named Frederick (born in 1986). He came out as a Barnet fan in 2012.

Michael Aspel shocked Motson at a charity event in 1996 when the show This Is Your Life included him as its topic. His nomination of Brian Clough as his “great life” was featured on the BBC Radio 4 biographical programme Great Lives in 2007.

The evening of May 19, 2018, featured three specials on BBC Two honouring Motson’s career: Motty Mastermind, Motty – The Man Behind the Sheepskin, and Countdown to the Complete Motty.

In recognition of his contributions to sports broadcasting, Motson was awarded an OBE in the 2001 Birthday Honours. On February 23, 2023, at the age of 77, he passed away.

The Cause of John Motson Death?

BBC also released a statement confirming John’s death, which read, “Motson covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport before retiring in 2018. Often referred to as “Motty.”

Since 1971, he had been a commentator for Match of the Day, during which time he had covered around 2,500 games. John Walker Motson’s birthdate is July 10, 1945, and he was born in Salford, Lancashire, England.

He attended Culford School in the Bury St. Edmunds area since his father was a Methodist minister. He entered the journalism industry in 1963, working first as a reporter in Barnet. He first began covering football while working for the Sheffield Morning Telegraph in 1967 and 1968. His career took off after the BBC appointed him to host sports programming on Radio 2 in 1968.

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In December of 1969, he provided colour commentary for the match between Everton and Derby County. Throughout the course of his career, he earned the deep admiration and affection of his peers and the people in his service area. Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire was home for him and his wife Anne. The family still hasn’t announced funeral and obituary plans. There will never be another individual on this Earth like John Motson.

Obituaries for John Motson:

Several football fans and news organisations have taken to social media in the wake of John Motson’s death to express their condolences and share their remembrances of the late player.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher tweeted that Motson was a true hero on the pitch. It’s likely that Jamie is just one of many Britons who grew up with Motty’s descriptions of goals and other highlights from Match of the Day and other Cup finals.


Legendary footballer Gary Lineker tweeted his respects to Motson, calling him a “great commentator and the voice of football in our nation for decades.” Social media was used by numerous Premier League clubs to pay respect to Motson, including Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Manchester City, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, and many more.

Neil Drysdale Wrote,

Sad news about the death of John Motson at 77. I remember interviewing him a decade ago and mentioning I lived in Aberdeen. He then launched into a smashing spiel about how he thought the Dons and Ipswich’s success in Europe was “miraculous”. A good man who loved football!

Daniel Storey Wrote,

Almost none of us met John Motson. Almost all of us felt like we knew him. That is the power of great commentary, warmingly familiar and yet non-intrusive. Obituary piece.

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