Legendary British football commentator John Motson dies aged 77

John Motson
John Motson was popularly known as 'Motty'. File photo: Reuters/Eddie Keogh

London: British soccer commentator John Motson has died aged 77, his family announced in a statement on Thursday.

Popularly known as "Motty", Motson started working on the BBC's flagship soccer highlights show Match of the Day in 1971.

He went on to cover 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals for the channel before retiring from the organisation in 2018.

"It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today (Thursday)," said a statement from Motson's family.

Motson became an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting and was made famous for his trademark sheepskin coats, delivering his final BBC commentary back in 2018 when Crystal Palace faced West Bromwich Albion.

"Deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has died," former England striker and current Match of the Day commentator Gary Lineker said on Twitter.

"A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He'll be very much missed."

Motson joined the BBC on a full-time basis as a sports presenter on Radio 2 in 1968, having been at BBC Radio Sheffield beforehand.

"10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals. John Motson was an ever present fixture in so many of our lives. He will be sorely missed," British minister for culture, media and sport, Lucy Frazer, said on Twitter.

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