Match of the Day commentator John Motson to retire after 50 years

The legendary football commentator will hang up his microphone at the end of this season

John Motson

Legendary BBC football commentator John Motson will retire at the end of the current football season after 50 years of service.

Advertisement

“Motty” will make his return to Match of the Day this weekend at the Brighton vs West Bromwich Albion game – he has been commentating for the programme since 1971 – and will report on another 17 Premier League matches in what the BBC are calling his “farewell tour”, culminating with the FA Cup Final in May 2018.

Over the course of an illustrious career, the 72-year-old has overseen 10 World Cups, 29 FA Cup Finals, 10 European Championships and more than 200 England games.

John Motson Radio Times 1990
Always does his homework: John Motson tells Radio Times about his preparation ahead of Italia ’90

While it is unlikely the British public would ever have grown tired of his iconic voice, Motson has suggested he wanted to bow out before he overstayed his welcome.

“I just thought my 50th year in the BBC is 2018 and it has to end some time and I thought that would be a good note to go out,” he told Press Association. “I also don’t want to go into the area where people say ‘He’s been there too long’, ‘He’s lost it’, ‘He’s not what he was'”.

In a statement via the BBC, he said, “I’ve absolutely loved my time commentating for BBC Sport and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness some of the biggest moments in football history mere yards away from the action, so I’ve really been very lucky.”

Advertisement

Fans on Twitter have shared their favourite Motty memories to mark his retirement.