The football community suffered a huge loss on Thursday, as news broke of the death of legendary former Match of the Day commentator John Motson. Tributes have been pouring in for the man who became the voice of football for many fans, during an illustrious career in which he commentated on over 2,000 games.
Following his retirement in 2018, 'Motty' kept a close eye on all footballing events, a fact reflected in comments from the landlords of his local pub in Little Brickhill, Milton Keynes.
"Wednesday evening, the night before he passed, he came into the pub to watch his football match and sat with his mates having a beer and talking us through the game, as he would most evenings," said Louise Babikian, landlord of The George, where Motson was a well-known and well-loved local. That night, it was a Champions League clash between Manchester City and RB Leipzig that grabbed Motson's attention.
"He always had something very diplomatic to say about the game. He was very unbiased and just a true fan of the game and most sports," Babikian told the BBC. "My memory will be him saying goodnight, how he'd see us at the weekend and he might come in the day after for the United game. He just loved every team and everybody."
Motson's death has sent shockwaves through the world of football, and underlined just how much respect there is for him within the game. An iconic voice that soundtracked World Cups, European Championships, and FA Cup finals, he leaves an impressive legacy.