John Motson’s funeral: Mourners arrive at the crematorium to pay their respects to the legendary commentator who became synonymous with English football
Mourners were pictured arriving at John Motson’s funeral on Friday following the football commentator’s death aged 77 last month.
Motson, who became synonymous with English football during his distinguished 50-year career with the BBC, died on February 23.
His funeral will take place today at Crownhill Crematorium in Milton Keynes.
Ray Stubbs, Bob Wilson and Mark Lawrenson were among the former football players who arrived to pay their respects.
Joining Match of the Day in 1971 and commentating on over 2,500 matches, ‘Motty’ was hugely popular with generations of football fans and was famous for his shearling coat.
Winning an OBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting, Motson retired from the BBC in 2018.
Mark Lawrenson (left), Bob Wilson and Ray Stubbs (right) arrive before the funeral of sportscaster John Motson at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes
Martin Taylor arrives before the funeral of sports commentator John Motson at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes
Motson was married to his wife Anne, and the couple married in 1977. They have a son together named Fred, who was born in 1986.
He left the BBC at the end of the 2017/18 season -with a final match between Crystal Palace and West Brom- but months later he returned from retirement to work at TalkSport.
Motson began working on the sports section of BBC Radio 2 in 1968 and entered football folklore when he described Ronnie Radford’s famous long-range goal for non-league Hereford against first division Newcastle in 1972. , his first television commentary.
Motty said the moment transformed his career and he would become friends with Radford, who died in November. He also became close with Ricky George, who scored Hereford’s winning goal in arguably the biggest giant kill in British football history.
His next big break in football came the year he married Anne, when he was recruited as a late replacement for star commentator David Coleman and covered his first FA Cup final in 1977.
Coleman was in dispute with the BBC over his contract and Motty drew the applause as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1, all the goals coming within five minutes at the start of the second half.
Martin Keown arrives before the funeral of sports commentator John Motson at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes
Bob Wilson (centre) arrives before the funeral of sports commentator John Motson at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes
Garth Crooks (left) arrives before the funeral of sports commentator John Motson at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes
Mark Lawrenson (left), Ray Stubbs and Garth Crooks (right) arrive before the funeral of sportscaster John Motson
Mark Lawrenson (centre) and Ray Stubbs arrive before the funeral of sportscaster John Motson
Motson had stints as a reporter at the Barnet Press and the Sheffield Morning Telegraph early in his career.
When he retired from TV commentary five years ago, he would admit to being a fan of Barnet after his days at the local paper.
Motty also had an affinity for Ipswich Town, having gone to boarding school in Suffolk. He commented on the team’s famous victory in the 1981 UEFA Cup.
‘Motty’, as he was affectionately known, joined the BBC full-time as a sports presenter on Radio 2 in 1968, having previously been at BBC Radio Sheffield.