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John Motson to quit BBC after 50 years

John Motson will quit the BBC next year.

The 72-year-old sports commentator will hang up his microphone at the end of the football season in May after 50 years working for the corporation, during which time he has covered 10 World Cups and 29 FA Cup finals.

He said: "I've absolutely loved my time commentating for BBC Sport.

"I've been fortunate enough to witness some of the biggest moments in football history mere yards away from the action, so I've really been very lucky."

Motson - who has covered 10 European Championships and more than 200 England games - admitted he is not retiring from sport completely.

He added: "I'm hoping to keep my association with football and with broadcasting - I'm not retiring from everything, I'm retiring from the BBC."

The commentating legend's final game for the BBC will be the 2018 FA Cup Final in May, and he will return to his 'Match of the Day' duties on Saturday (09.09.17) when he covers Brighton vs West Brom.

Barbara Slater, BBC director of sport, said: "John Motson is a real asset to the football world and he will be sorely missed.

"It isn't hard to see why he is so highly treasured, not just by the BBC but also by the nation, due to his instantly recognisable voice, wonderful sense of humour and his incredible dedication to the sport.

"As he moves on from commentating for BBC Sport, we wish him the best of luck for the future."

'Match of the Day' presenter Gary Lineker paid tribute to Motson, branding him a "legend".

He tweeted: "John Motson to end his 50 year career with @BBCSport. Listened to Motty as a child, as a player, as a colleague. A legend of his profession. (sic)"

Motson is affectionately called Motty in the football community and known for wearing a sheepskin coat.

One of his most infamous commentating lines was during a Tottenham game when he said: "For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip."

In 2001, Motson was awarded an OBE for his services to sports broadcasting.

He joked: "I thought about wearing my sheepskin, but I didn't think it was appropriate."

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