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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK
Motty magic honoured
John Motson
John Motson in familiar pose
John Motson, the BBC's voice of football, has been given an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list - and the timing could not have been much better.

His honour arrives in the year that the famed commentator is celebrating 30 years with the BBC and marks another milestone in his illustrious career.

But the man - instantly recognisable in his sheepskin coat and revered for his wealth of knowledge when it comes to football - was typically modest about his honour.

"I am very lucky to have worked with a host of talented and dedicated television professionals and this is their award as much as mine," he said.

Affectionately known as Motty, the commentator is the son of a Methodist minister.

He began his career as an 18-year-old junior reporter at the Barnet Press newspaper.

His first steps into covering football came when he moved to the Morning Telegraph in Sheffield before a freelance stint at BBC Radio Sheffield.

He then switched to BBC Radio 2 in 1968 when it was the main sports radio station and commentated on football as well as several other sports.

Motty became a junior member of the Match of the Day staff in 1971 and rose to prominence following his coverage of the FA Cup upset when Hereford beat Newcastle in 1973.

He has covered more than 1,600 matches since, including commentating on his 30th major football final at Euro 96.

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