Thursday 23rd February marks a sorrowful day for Football and the wider sporting community. The word legend is banded about too easily nowadays. However, nobody can deny that the late John Motty Motson deserves that title.
Motty as the public knew him, first worked as a freelancer for BBC Radio Sheffield before joining the BBC on a permanent basis in 1968.
The Salford born broadcaster covered more than 200 England matches and almost 2500 televised games.A famous Fa Cup third round replay between the two United’s Hereford and Newcastle made the public notice this up and coming commentator. Motty managed to carefully toe the line between screeching and reacting like a fan would as Ronnie Radford rippled the ball into the top corner.
Tributes have flooded in from the football community, decades of supporters have religiously listened to him work his magic with the mic. Besides supporters, Motty inspired and guided the way for future broadcasters who hope to follow in his footsteps. In recent times broadcasters such as Martin Tyler and Peter Drury lead the way for iconic lines describing pinnacle moments in football. Director of BBC Sports Barbara Slater hits the nail on the head talking of Motson’s influence in the game by the way he “provided a special memory and commentary line that still strongly resonates.”
Motson was known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game and trademark sheepskin coats that no other commentator would dare attempt. The news comes sadly a few days after fellow sports broadcasting legend Dickie Davies passed away. In the space of a week, we’ve lost two sporting greats. RIP Motty and Dickie.