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Commentator supreme Motty calls it a day with one final Premiership Football tour

By: stagedoorscribbler - September 9, 2017

John Motson - 50 years in the BBC commentary box

So farewell then Motty. The remarkable John Motson has announced his retirement from front-line football commentary on the BBC.

He’ll be hanging up his microphone next summer after 50 years in the commentary box. Although he's said his retirement will not be total and he's not ready for the pipe slippers just yet, Motty will be sorely missed. His extraordinary knowledge, his undying passion for the sport and innate ability to describe passion and pain with the turn of an impromptu phrase have made him a unique talent in the era of televised sport.

Motty, who has also served as a popular Clive Conway Production’s speaker, will be missed for his ability to transport the listener or viewer to the pitch-side and he’ll be missed for his idiosyncrasies too. It’s hard to imagine a world without Motson’s excitability, his occasional classic gaffs and of course his trademark sheepskin coat.

So iconic has that coat become that Motty was once actually described as ‘half man, half sheepskin coat’. Last week, as the nation’s media discussed his departure from the Premier league circuit, we were all far more delighted that we should  be to hear that he has just had a new one custom made for his final season.

 John Motson started his career run radio but soon moved to television and first came to prominence as a commentator in the early 1970s. Since then he reckons he’s commentated on over 2,000 matches including 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, and 29 FA Cup finals. He also commentated on the fateful 1989 match at Hillsborough. 

Now 72 he says he wanted to leave while he’s still a force to be reckoned with and 2018 - his 50th year in broadcasting - seemed like an auspicious time to do it. So one more season and one more sheepskin coat.