Legendary BBC football commentator John Motson will retire at the end of the current football season after 50 years of service.
“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.
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.”
Fans on Twitter have shared their favourite Motty memories to mark his retirement.
Farewell to John Motson. My favourite commentary of his was Spain v Yugoslavia in Euro 2000, brilliant match, compelling commentary.
— Ahmer Wadee (@ahmerwadee) September 6, 2017
— Matt Innes (@jMattInnes) September 6, 2017
For me John Motson will always be the voice of England matches. What an icon, what a legend ✌ #ThanksMotty
— Joshua Kekana ???????? (@JoshuaKekana) September 5, 2017
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) September 6, 2017
John Motson has officially retired from commentating after 50 years.
Nothing will beat him and Ally McCoist on FIFA 2005. Legendary. pic.twitter.com/7J3Ql6GDPl
— Team FA (@TeamFA) September 6, 2017