Motty finally signs out with much praise and a BAFTA after 50 years at the microphone
Just months after he announced his intended retirement from front-line football commentary on the BBC, the remarkable John Motson has finally hung up his microphone.
And generations of football fans are coping with the realisation that the fateful day has finally arrived. And just in case they still didn't believe it last night he was lavished with a Bafta for his services to television sport coverage.
The inimitable Motson - Motty to his faithful followers - had called it a day only hours earlier with his last ever Match of the Day broadcast covering Crystal Palace at home to West Brom.
The broadcast brings to a close a career at the BBC that has lasted 50 years and has seen sometime Clive Conway Production’s speaker Motty become a much-loved British institution.
His extraordinary knowledge, his undying passion for the sport and innate ability to describe passion and pain with the turn of an impromptu phrase made him a unique talent in the era of televised sport.
John Motson started his career in 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.
He 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 year when he first revealed his plans to retire from the Premier league circuit, the media were beside themselves with excitement when he revealed he’d had a new sheepskin coat made specially for his final season.
Predictably perhaps, despite the summer temperatures, they seemed mightily disappointed when he revealed that he wasn’t going to wearing it for yesterdays final match. “It’s too hot, it’s been put away now,” he explained.