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  • Published: 15 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780753518137
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99


Forty Years in the Commentary Box

The legendary voice of football tells his story in this stunning paperback package published to coincide with the 2010 World Cup

From Ronnie Radford to Wayne Rooney, John Motson’s knowledge and passion for football are unrivalled. In Motty, he shares his story for the first time and guides us through a career which has spanned forty years and over 2,000 matches. From reporting on the exploits of the giant-killing Hereford team in the 1972 FA Cup that made his name on Match of the Day, to the estimated twenty-million viewers who tuned in to his commentary on England’s match with Portugal at the 2006 World Cup, Motson’s time in the commentary box has delivered some unforgettable anecdotes. In dozens of fascinating behind-the-scenes stories, we hear about the greatest matches he has watched and the greatest players and managers he has been privileged to know. Many of them are the icons of the game; Bill Shankly, Alex Ferguson, Brian Clough, Alf Ramsey, and Matt Busby, amongst countless others.Motty is essential reading for anyone who has grown up with the undisputed voice of football.

  • Published: 15 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780753518137
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

John Motson

John Motson is the nation's best-known football commentator. The son of a Methodist minister, he became a junior member of the Match of the Day staff in 1971 and soon became one of its key commentators. Since 1979, he has been the BBC's main TV commentator for major cup finals. He continues to work for Match of the Day and BBC Radio 5 Live. In 2001 he received an OBE for services to sports broadcasting.

Praise for Motty

Football's grand master of the microphone

Lee Clayton, Daily Mail

Motty's sheepskin coat has become a trademark almost as familiar as Kenneth Wolstenholme's "They think it's all over ... it is now" as Geoff Hurst completed his World Cup Final hat-trick in '66

Harry Harris

John Motson is the nation's-favourite, statto-mad, sheepskin-wearing voice of football

Barney Ronay, Guardian

We'd be lost without Motty's unique insights.

Martin Kelner

Motson has done more to define the images of the famous competition (FA Cup) than anyone in the modern era.

Rob Draper, Daily Mail

Motty is a treasure, a gently reassuring presence in our lives

Jim White

Motty, like Pele and Madonna, needs no other form of identification.

Alan Fraser

The FA Cup final without Motty is almost unthinkable. Because, like the competition itself, Motty is a hopeless romantic.

Graham Wray, People

This is a man in love with his calling.

Jim White, Daily Telegraph

Motty is, in the words of the old cliché, a legend in his own lifetime. He has brought knowledge of and passion for football direct into the homes of millions - he is a national institution, recognised and loved. He is also a thoroughly decent bloke.

Tony Blair

John Motson has for many years been the undisputed true voice of English football.

Sir Bobby Robson

There is no doubting Motty is a footie hero ... this will be an ideal stocking-filler for dads at Christmas

News of the World

Like Cheryl Cole and Lincolnshire sausages, John Motson is a national treasure to be cherished. From his verbal scraps with Brian Clough to the traumatic Hillsborough tragedy, his autobiography reveals the man behind the microphone.

Sport Magazine

John Motson is an institution and his commentaries on Match of the Day are part of the fabric of football. The BBC legend has been behind the microphone for 40 years, covering just about every big match going.


Bright and breezy ... it reflects on a lifetime watching football matches big and small and of bumping into all the heroes of the game

Sunday Express

Strangely compelling memoir by one of the best-known sports commentators of his generation. If you cannot remember what colour shirts Newcastle United wore in 1972 when they were drummed out of the FA Cup by Hereford ... this is the book for you

Financial Times 'Books of the Year'

Motty's knowledge and passion for football are unrivalled as he shares his story for the first time with humour and honesty.

Oxford Times

Filled with a multitude of detail about Motson's background and the sporting times he lived through ...Motson is one of the most intelligent and accomplished commentators in history, a voice that has conveyed the best (and worst, depending on your allegiance) moments in the recent past of the game. His book offers a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes of football broadcasting, as well as a trip down memory lane for many supporters. A must-read for any football fan.

Sunday Business Post

The voice of the sheepskinned sage and cult hero John Motson will doubtless be heard at the 2010 tournament, and he reminisces on his career to date in the amusing Motty: Forty Years in the Commentary Box

Independent on Sunday 'Books of the Year'

Motson has been the finest television football commentator for the best part of 25 years, and perhaps ever

Rod Liddle, The Times

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