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Motty began his commentating career in 1971
John Motson, or as many know him as Motty, has an infamous voice. If you’ve watched football on TV at any time in the last 40 years, you’ve probably heard it commentating on a game.
Beginning his career with BBC in 1971, he commentated over 2,000 matches on television and radio.
After a stellar career in the industry, Motson hung up the mic in 2008, retiring from live television commentary.
He continued to cover the matches of Game of the day highlights, as well as appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live, but eventually announced his complete retirement from BBC commentary in 2017.
In a career that has seen him commentate on 10 FIFA World Cups, 10 UEFA European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals, Motson has witnessed some truly special encounters and a host of historical moments.
But which games stand out for him? He spoke to JOE and identified his top 50 games in history, which will be turned into NFTs with Fanz.com.
The 50 games chosen by Motty will soon be available as 10,000 unique NFTs, with the collection – a fully animated 3D designed NFT – featuring his voice over club traits.
Fans won’t just own a photo. Instead, they’ll have a personal memory of a game they, or someone they know, may have attended or care about – and one that will last forever on the blockchain.
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool, September 13, 1978
Brian Clough’s side defied odds and won the 1978/79 European Cup with a 1-0 win over Malmö in the final at Munich’s Olympiastadion.
En route to the final, they came up against Liverpool – creating a mouth-watering all-English tie that fans were eager to see.
Forest won the first leg 2-0 at the City Ground, with goals from Garry Birtles and Colin Barrett putting them in pole position heading into the second leg at Anfield.
A goalless draw in the second leg was enough to send Clough’s men through to the second round as it was then, and the rest is truly history.
Motson suggested that, thanks to the Forest manager, the pair were able to create some truly memorable interviews – adding that after the game against Liverpool Clough made a remark about people’s opinions of the club.
“Brian Clough and I did some great interviews, I say they were great because of him, not because of me,” Motson said.
“After Liverpool lost to Nottingham Forest in the European Cup, they [Clough] said, ‘And maybe John, in the near future, people will kind of start to believe that we’re a good team.'”
Argentina versus England, 1986 World Cup
It’s a game remembered for two iconic moments: one was a piece of genius, the other, well, not so much.
In the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, England faced Argentina. The Three Lions lost 1-0 thanks to a highly controversial goal from Argentine star player Diego Maradona, who put the ball into the England net with his hand.
Despite understandable complaints from the England players, the referee gave away the goal – which was later dubbed the ‘Hand of God goal’ following Maradona’s ironic description of how it was scored.
The tricky striker then netted his and Argentina’s second of the game with a simply stunning solo goal. In 2002, he was voted the best goal in World Cup history.
Argentina won the tournament, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final.
While the Argentine has grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons, Motson believes no one would have ever topped the late Maradona, and believes the Azteca stadium – where the match was played – is the best he has had commented.
He said: “Azteca Stadium, probably the best stadium I’ve ever been to, in my career as a commentator.
“And Maradona was at his peak then, which put Argentina in the final against West Germany like it was then and lo and behold, he scored the winning goal for Burruchaga.
“I don’t think anyone would have ever really surpassed Maradona.”
Motty’s 50 best games in history (in no particular order):
League Division 1, Liverpool 3-2 Arsenal, 1964, Anfield
League Division One, Derby County 4-4 Manchester United, 1970, baseball field
League Division 1, Leeds 7-0 Southampton, 1972, Elland Road
League Division 2, Tottenham Hotspur 9-0 Bristol Rovers, 1977, White Hart Lane
League Division One, Manchester City 0-1 Luton Town, 1983, Maine Road
League Division 1, Liverpool 5-0 Nottingham Forest, 1988, Anfield
FA Cup 3rd Round, Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal, 1992, Racecourse Ground
FA Cup Final, Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers, 1953, Wembley
FA Cup 3rd round replay, Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United, 1972, Edgar Street
FA Cup Final, Liverpool 0-1 Wimbledon, 1988, Wembley
FA Cup Final, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal, 2001, Millenium Stadium
World Cup Group D 1st group stage, Scotland 3-2 Netherlands, 1978, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas
World Cup quarter-final, Argentina 2-1 England, 1986, Estadio Azteca
World Cup semi-finals, Germany 1(4p)-1(3p) England, 1990, Stadio Delle Alpi
World Cup Final 2nd Round, Argentina 2(4p)-2(3p) England, 1998, Stade Geoffroy
World Cup Final, England 4-2 West Germany, 1966, Wembley Stadium
ECW Cup 3rd round second leg, Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona, 1984, Old Trafford
European Cup Quarter-final second leg, Benfica 1-5 Manchester United, 1966, Estadio da Luz
European Cup Final, Manchester United 4-1 Benfica, 1968, Wembley
FA Cup 5th Round, Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday, 1958, Old Trafford
FA Cup Final, Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool, 1977, Wembley Stadium
FA Cup Final Replay, Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace, 1990, Wembley Stadium
Premier League, Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 1993, Old Trafford
UEFA Champions League Semi-final second leg, Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, 1999, Stadio Delle Alpi
FA Cup semi-final replay, Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United, 1999, Villa Park
UEFA Champions League Final, Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, 1999, Nou Camp
UEFA Champions League Final, Chelsea 1(5p)-1(6p) Manchester United, 2008, Luzhniki Stadium
FA Cup Final, Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool, 1996, Wembley Stadium
European Cup Final, Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach, 1977, Stadio Olimpico
European Cup Final, Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid, 1981, Parc des Princes
FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3-1 Everton, 1986, Wembley Stadium
FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3-2 Everton, 1989, Wembley Stadium
UEFA Champions League Final, AC Milan 3(2p)-3(3p) Liverpool, 2005, Ataturk Olympic Stadium
Premier League, Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle United, 1996, Anfield
European Cup Final, AS Roma 1(2p)-1(4p) Liverpool, 1984, Stadio Olimpico
FA Cup Final, Liverpool 3(3p)-3(1p) West Ham, 2006, Millenium Stadium
UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Second Leg, Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona, 2019, Anfield
League Division 1 Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal, 1989, Anfield
FA Cup Final, Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United, 1979, Wembley
FA Cup Final, Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, 1997, Wembley
FA Cup final replay, Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Manchester City, 1981, Wembley
Premier League, Manchester City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers, 2012, Etihad Stadium
Premier League, Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United, 1996, St James’ Park
UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup Final, Rapid Wien 1-3 Everton, 1985, Stadion de Kuip
FA Cup Final, Leicester City 1-0 Chelsea, 2021, Wembley
Association football match, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Budapest Honved, 1954, Molineux
League Division 1, Manchester United 3-5 West Brom, 1978, Old Trafford
European Cup Final, Bayern Munich 0-1 Aston Villa, 1982, Stadion Feijenoord
European Cup Final, Malmo FF 0-1 Nottingham Forest, 1979, Olympiastadion
Women’s World Cup Final, USA 0(5p)-0(4p) China, 1999, Rose Bowl
Motty’s top 10 matches will be released soon. Follow here for more info: https://discord.gg/fanz, or visit: https://www.fanz.com