Gary Lineker has led tributes to legendary football commentator John Motson, who passed away in his sleep on Thursday (23.02.23) aged 77.

Gary Lineker has led tributes to legendary football commentator John Motson

Gary Lineker has led tributes to legendary football commentator John Motson

The 'Match of the Day' presenter admitted the late star - who worked on the football highlights show from 1971 to 2018 - will be "very much missed" following his death.

Former footballer Gary wrote on Twitter: "Deeply saddened to hear that John Motson has died. A quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations. He’ll be very much missed. RIP Motty."

Commentator Clive Tyldesley tweeted: "As a teenager I just wanted to be John Motson. Nobody else. Terribly sad."

John's family have confirmed he passed away in his sleep.

They said in a statement: "It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today."

BBC director-general Tim Davie said: "John Motson was the voice of a footballing generation - steering us through the twists and turns of FA Cup runs, the highs and lows of World Cups and, of course, Saturday nights on 'Match of the Day'.

"Like all the greats behind the mic, John had the right words, at the right time, for all the big moments."

The Football Association also paid tribute to the late star, who is survived by his wife Anne and son Frederick.

A message on the FA's official Twitter account read: "We are very sad to hear that John Motson has passed away.

His iconic voice will always be synonymous with football.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP, Motty."

Former England captain John Terry wrote: "RIP John Motson. The voice of football"

Ex-heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno admitted it is a "sad day for sport".

He posted: "Morning John Motson RIP met John on many events he just called me "Big Man" the man was a walking encyclopedia on Football I told him games I'd seen as a boy he knew score's who'd played. I offered 2 buy his coat off him once as a laugh when it was really cold sad day for Sport (sic)"

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher also paid tribute to the star, who was known affectionately as "Motty" and covered 10 World Cups and 29 FA Cup finals for BBC Sport.

He wrote on Twitter: "RIP John Motson

An absolute Legend of the game.

So many of us grew up listening to this man describe the action and goals on MOTD and cup finals. Sad loss."