Saying Goodbye To John Motson Through Brian Clough

From the Del Boy coat to football’s voice on a Saturday evening; we all know who we’re talking about, the legendary John Motson.

Today, football says good bye to its favourite commentator. 50 years in the business, ‘Motty’ has now called time on his career with the announcement he will step down from all reporting.

Motty’s tributes will no doubt be poured in from every angle of the country; rightly so, Motson’s coverage of games was so unique, and so enjoyable, that it’s the first voice you hear when reliving an international match.

He had that uncanny ability to make a statement in commentary – one that could be as basic as a Michael Owen assessment of why a team did not win a 0-0 – yet make it sound interesting; make it sound like a brilliant – often blunt – piece of commentary.

However, although we could sing Motson’s praises for the rest of the week, and likely in higher affection over the weekend after a couple of beers, we can’t help but think of the likes of Michael Owen in today’s world of commentary.

Motson’s hanging-up of the microphone is a sobering reminder of who will be picking up the microphone; ex-pro players who lack tactical nous to articulate a decent footballing argument live on air.

And, who spotted this problem before all of us? Brian Clough. Of course Clough did; the maverick was always way ahead of everyone else, and it is that famous interview that Clough does with Motson over 30 years ago where all the points that modern day fans are echoing today.

Fans are being told what to believe. Rather than a discussion amongst friends, where people can form their own opinions, they’re being brainwashed by the over consumption of broadcasting companies employing any ex-pro at the drop of a hat. What the ‘experts’ say goes…

See 3:10 from *that* interview to see Clough’s take on pundits in football.

This mirroring of Clough’s view point is not to knock Motson on his day of retirement, nor is it aimed at the BBC reporter. But, it is aimed at a wide majority of pundits who Clough would turn in his grave if the former manager saw them commentating on games.

We are sad to see Motty go, but we are sadder at the thought of which footballing personalities are to replace him. They don’t make them like they used to, and although Motson retired from live games nearly 10 years ago, rather than reliving an international game through Motty’s voice on the way to work, it will now be through Andy Townsend’s.