Legendary BBC football commentator John Motson dies aged 77
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Legendary BBC football commentator John Motson dies aged 77

John Motson, the BBC football commentator who was one of the most well-known voices in British sport for 50 years, has died. He was 77.

"It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today," a statement from Motson's family read on Thursday.

Fondly known as "Motty," Motson commentated on games for Britain's national broadcaster from 1968-2018, covering 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals.

He commentated on almost 2,500 televised games, the BBC said.

Motson was known for his passion and knowledge of football and synonymous with wearing a sheepskin coat in the commentary box.

In 2001, Motson received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to sports broadcasting.

Among those who paid tribute was Prince William, the heir to the throne and president of the English football Association.

"Very sad to hear about the passing of John Motson - a legend whose voice was football," William said in a personal message posted on Twitter.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair echoed that description of the commentator.

"People are often described as legends in their field. Usually it's an exaggeration. But John Motson was a legend. Lovely guy, obsessed with the minutiae of football, great fun and an absolutely brilliant commentator..."

Former England striker and current Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said he was deeply saddened by the news.

"A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He'll be very much missed," he said on Twitter.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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