John Motson will be presented with the Special Award at this year's TV BAFTAs.

John Motson

John Motson

The legendary football commentator - who will retire from the BBC at the end of the season after a 50-year career - will be handed the prestigious prize at the ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall on May 13 to mark his outstanding contribution to sports broadcasting.

John, who is known affectionately as Motty, said: "It is such an honour to be given the Special Award by BAFTA at this year's ceremony, especially on the day of my last football commentary for 'Match of the Day'.

"I've had such a rewarding career and I'm looking forward to celebrating this award with colleagues, friends and family."

The 72-year-old star has covered more than 2,000 football matches throughout his career, including a staggering 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, 29 FA Cup finals and more than 200 England games.

Krishnendu Majumdar, chair of BAFTA's Television Committee, said: "Legendary football commentator John Motson's long and impressive career makes him deserving of this Special Award which celebrates the excellence he brings to his work.

"He is much loved by the nation's football fans, who have been gripped while watching and listening to his commentary on some of the most memorable matches in televised football history.

"I look forward to seeing him receiving the award on the night."

John announced in September last year that he is to hang up his BBC microphone in 2018.

He said at the time: "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.

"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 Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards will be hosted by Sue Perkins on May 13.