Legendary BBC football commentator John Motson dies aged 77

John Motson, the BBC football commentator who was one of the best-known voices in British sport for 50 years, has died. He was 77 years old.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that John Motson OBE passed away peacefully in his sleep today,” a statement from Motson’s family said on Thursday.

Affectionately known as ‘Motty’, Motson commentated on matches for Britain’s national broadcaster from 1968 to 2018, covering 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals.

He has commentated on nearly 2,500 televised matches, the BBC said.

Motson was known for his passion and knowledge of football and synonymous with wearing a sheepskin coat in the commentary box.

In 2001, Motson received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to sports broadcasting.

Among those paying tribute was Prince William, heir to the throne and chairman of the English Football Association.

“Very sad to hear of the passing of John Motson – a legend whose voice was football,” William said in a personal message posted on Twitter.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair echoed this commentator’s description.

“People are often described as legends in their field. Usually that’s an exaggeration. But John Motson was a legend. A lovely guy, obsessed with the details of football, great fun and an absolutely brilliant commentator…”

Former England striker and current Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said he was deeply saddened by the news.

“A pretty brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He will be sorely missed,” he said on Twitter.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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