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Motty R.I.P.

I cannot say Motty was a good friend but he was more than an acquaintance of mine.

I do not know how many paying tribute to him actually knew him.

The tributes did get one thing right: he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of football in an age where there was no internet resource.

He kept rigorous notes and details in tomes that he carried around with him and would often prepare for a match he was commentating by visiting the club in advance.

It was sometimes said he never came up with a brilliant phrase, as in Kenneth Wolstenholme’s “There are some people on the pitch. They think it’s all over … It is now !” or Barry Davies’ “Interesting … VERY interesting … “.

In his early days of commentary Motty could be a tad nerdish but as he matured his deep knowledge of the game was much respected and appreciated.

Motty may not have left a legacy of one-liners but he is forever associated with his trademark line “I think I am correct in saying …” and he invariably was.

Unlike some – no names, no David Coleman – he was popular with his colleagues and not one to bitch.

He called Garth Crooks – often his analyst – “a dream” and Des Lyman, when he moved to ITV, was contrite that he forgot to tell Motty.

It was a privilege to know you, John.

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About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts