31 of John Motson's most endearing commentary gaffes

Friday, 11th May 2018, 10:25 am
Updated Friday, 11th May 2018, 11:48 am

As the football season draws to a close, so too will the career of one of the sport's most instantly recognisable voices.

John Motson announced late last year that he'd be retiring at the end of the season, and his commentary for Match of the Day this Sunday will be the last time we hear the broadcasting legend commenting on a game.

The enthusiastic pundit is known for his thorough preparation, but that hasn't stopped humorous slip-ups from cropping up over the years. With occasionally Alan Partridge esque results.

Here are 31 of Motty's greatest commentary gaffes, that only made us love him more...

"For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip."

"It's Arsenal 0 - Everton 1, and the longer it stays like that the more you've got to fancy Everton."

"Just look at Keegan’s face, he’s got a look of resignation… I don’t mean, of course, about his managerial position, but rather about today’s game."

"In a sense it's a one-man show... except there are two men involved, Hartson and Berkovic, and a third man, the goalkeeper."

John Motson's enthusiastic commentary has led to some rather choice words over the years (Photo: BBC)

"Whether that was a penalty or not, the referee thought otherwise."

"He's got the taste of Wembley in his nostrils.”

"Brazil - they're so good it's like they are running around the pitch playing with themselves."

"Middlesbrough are withdrawing Maccarone the Italian, Nemeth the Slovakian, and Stockdale... the right-back."

"Northern Ireland are ten minutes away from their finest victory. There's 15 minutes to go here."

"The Czech Republic are coming from behind in more than one way now."

"Gary Lineker has now scored 37 goals. That is precisely twice as many as last year."

"What a time to score… 27 minutes!"

"The game is balanced in Arsenal's favour."

"The referee is wearing the same yellow-coloured top as the Slovakian goalkeeper. I’d have thought the UEFA official would have spotted that – but perhaps he’s been deafened by the noise of this crowd."

(Photo: YouTube)

"The World Cup is a truly international event."

"None of the players are wearing earrings. Kjeldberg, with his contact lenses, is the closest we can get.”

"Nearly all the Brazilian supporters are wearing yellow shirts - it's a fabulous kaleidoscope of colour."

"Apparently, Clint Dempsey is a freestyle rapper... whatever that means."

"That shot might not have been as good as it might have been."

"And Seaman, just like a falling oak, manages to change direction."

"Not the first half you might have expected, even though the score might suggest that it was."

"You couldn’t count the number of moves Alan Ball made… I counted four, and possibly five."

"The unexpected is always likely to happen."

"I’ve just heard that in the other match Real Madrid have just scored. That makes the score, if my calculations are correct, 4 – 3! But I’m only guessing!"

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

"Owen scores and breaks Lineker's competitive scoring record. Although, this being a friendly it doesn't actually count, so he hasn't quite done it yet."

"I’ve lost count of how many chances Helsingborg have had. It’s at least five."

"And I suppose Spurs are nearer to being out of the FA Cup now than any other time since the first half of this season, when they weren't ever in it anyway."

"It’s so different from the scenes in 1872, at the Cup Final none of us can remember."

"The goals made such a difference to the way this game went."

"Oh, that’s good running on the run."

"The match has become quite unpredictable, but it still looks as though Arsenal will win the cup."

And the times he got it dead right:

On a breakfast-time Beckham penalty at the 2002 World Cup: "Hold on to your cups and glasses… you can smash them now, David Beckham has scored!"

When Wimbledon took a shock victory over Liverpool in the Cup Final: "The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club."

On Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt: "And the referee has gone across now with his hand in his pocket. He's been told about it. He's off, it's red, it's Zidane! You can't excuse that - Zidane's career ends in disgrace!"

"Northern Ireland were in white, which was quite appropriate because three inches of snow had to be cleared from the pitch before kick off!"

A useful cookery tip: "Just one minute of overtime, so you can put the eggs on now if you like."

The defining moment in Hereford's victory over Newcastle in the 1972 FA Cup: "Radford again. Oh what a goal! What a goal! Radford the scorer!"

John Motson's final football commentary can be heard on Match of the Day on Sunday (13 May) on BBC1 at 10.30pm

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[Main image: BBC]