John Motson’s best commentary moments

6 Mar • 6 min read

The beautiful game lost a true great recently, John Motson was simply one of a kind. Every football fan has a ‘Motty moment’ - whether it’s from the FA Cup, a major international tournament and of course, Match of the Day. We can all remember his iconic voice, presiding over some of the most historic moments the game has ever seen.

After covering nearly 2,500 games, Motson’s legacy is truly unparalleled so we’ve rounded up some of his finest moments from the gantry:

England 5-1 Germany

That night in Munich back in 2004 is etched in our memories for so many reasons. Owen’s hat-trick, Heskey’s celebration and almost 15 million people back in England glued to their screens as John Motson called one of the greatest Three Lions moments since 1966.

Some instances in life just align perfectly - this game was one of those. The goals poured in as Motty became increasingly beside himself on commentary before proclaiming “this is getting better and better and better!”. He wasn’t wrong either.

Zidane loses his head

Sticking with the international theme, everyone remembers where they were during the 2006 World Cup final. Zinadine Zidane was having the tournament of his life in what was to be his swansong from the French national team. However things took a very sudden turn for the worse for the Les Bleus legend.

In a moment of madness, Zidane launched his head into Materazzi’s chest and the world was stunned into silence. Everyone apart from the man on comms, that is. His words perfectly encapsulated the shocking events taking place in a way that only Motty could.

The Crazy Gang

It’s been over 30 years, but you’ll still be hard pressed to find a greater FA Cup shock than Wimbledon defeating Liverpool in the 1988 final. Motson captured the disbelief that the whole nation was going through with a host of iconic one-liners.

The pick of the bunch for us has to be “the Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club” - an off the cuff slice of brilliance that was the perfect backdrop for the occasion. It’s still yet to be topped.

Poor old Gazza

Cast your minds back to Italia ‘90. A scorching summer back in the UK and Paul Gascoigne was lighting up his first World Cup. That was until the semi final against Germany where he picked up a yellow card for that tackle and turned the game on its head.

Gazza’s eyes began to fill with tears whilst Motty filled the silence with perfectly. “Oh dear, oh dear me” he eerily declared as the penny dropped for us all. Should England make it to the final, they’d have to do so without their talisman. A heartbreaking moment for us all including a true icon of the sport.

Radford’s rocket

Let’s end by taking it back to the start. The year is 1972 and John Motson announces himself to the world in one of his first Match of the Day appearances and what a game to be covering. Ronnie Radford scored one of the most unforgettable FA Cup goals of all time, when his non-league Heresford side scored in a cup replay against Newcastle United who were flying high at the time.

Motson himself cited the game as a pivot point in his career so who are we to disagree? It’s fitting that his most well-documented moment came in the competition that he became synonymous with. We often speak about the magic of the cup and a lot of that magic is down to Motty.

John Motson’s longevity, legacy and his love for the game will never be topped. RIP Motty.