Many people from around the world are still paying their much-deserved respect to the legendary commentator John Motson OBE. Having spent an illustrious 50-year career as the sport’s leading wordsmith - ostensively with the BBC - the ‘voice of football’, popularly known as 'Motty', covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals.
The last World Cup he commentated at was the final in Germany in 2006, whilst FA Cup final between Cardiff City and Portsmouth in 2008 was his 29th. In a statement, his family said: "It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today (Thursday)." He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and was forced to miss the World Cup in Brazil.
The son of a Methodist minister and one of the most recognisable and beloved voices in football commentary, he was also affectionately known for his trademark sheepskin coats and encyclopaedic knowledge of the game who made his breakthrough on Match of the Day during the famous FA Cup replay and Hereford's shock 2-1 win against Newcastle United - featuring Ronnie Radford's famous 30-yard strike - saw the match promoted to the main game, with Motson capturing all the drama.
Always noted for his sheepskin coat, tributes have been flooding in for the football legend, with former England record-scoring striker and now Match of the Day presenter, Gary Lineker, writing: "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."
For Liverpool and England defender, Jamie Carragher said: "RIP John Motson. 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."
Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell wrote: "Rest in Peace John “Motty” Motson an absolute legend and gentleman." Motson became an OBE in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting and was also honoured at the British Academy Film and Television Awards (Bafta) in 2018 for his "outstanding contribution to sports broadcasting".
He was 77.