John Motson Dies: What is the Legendary BBC Sports Commentator Cause of Death?
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, John Motson, a soccer pundit for the BBC for 50 years whose exuberant voice was inseparable from many of the sport’s biggest moments, passed away. He was 77.
According to a statement from his family, the BBC has verified his passing. It was not stated what caused his death or where it occurred. For its most important games, including 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, and 29 F.A. Cup finals, the network resorted to Mr. Motson, who retired in 2018.
On the BBC’s weekly highlights program “Match of the Day,” he also provided analysis. In 2001, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire. The BBC’s director-general, Tim Davie, said in a statement:
“John Motson was the voice of a footballing generation,”
“like all the greats behind the mic, John had the right words, at the right time, for all the big moments.”
Mr. Motson, often known as Motty, was born in Salford, England, on July 10, 1945. Once his Methodist minister father started taking him to matches, his passion for soccer grew.
According to a 2008 story in The Independent, he started his career as a newspaper reporter after dropping out of school at age 16, first working at The Barnet Press, a weekly, and later at The Sheffield Morning Telegraph, a daily.
He was selected to participate in a local radio station’s experiment that relied on print reporters. An editor, after hearing his work on the radio, told him on The Independent:
“John, on the evidence of this copy, I really think you should try the world of the voice,”
He flourished on community radio before joining the BBC in 1968 and beginning work on “Match of the Day” in 1971. In the following years, he became the station’s top broadcaster, calling approximately 2,500 games, more than 200 of which involved England’s national team.
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He was present at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 when policing errors and congestion resulted in the deaths of 97 Liverpool supporters. The disaster resulted in over 700 fan injuries and is still making headlines today. The news of his passing caused many soccer fans in Britain to recall their favorite calls from particular matches. See below:
John Motson's retiring after 50 years at the BBC. Here is a thread of absolute peak John Motson.
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) September 6, 2017
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