Iconic Football Commentators Of All-Time

August 06, 2015

- Grant Whittington

To the outsider, the job of football commentators and pundits may seem like the stuff of dreams.  Paid to travel throughout the world and take in the finest football games on the planet, they are even allowed to express their opinions on the players, events, and results that shape the history of our national sport.

Commentary and punditry are not easy jobs, however, especially if you aim to offer genuine insight and informed opinions. While partnerships such as Martin Tyler and Gary Neville earn rave reviews for their quality, for example, there was an extremely negative reaction to Phil Neville’s performance as pundit during England’s recent World Cup clash with Italy.

The best provide insight, humour, and quite often tell it how it is. And at Bethut we more than have our favourites…

John Motson

Arguably the single most iconic commentator of all time, John Motson has been a staple of Match of the Day for almost 50 years.

A pundit and commentator rolled into one, Motson has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game and understood its ebbs and flows like a seasoned professional. Also known for his knack of introducing humour to his commentaries and his partnership with fellow BBC stalwart Mark Lawrenson, Motson will be remembered as the greatest commentator of his age.

Kenneth Wolstenholme

Having worked during the 1960’s Wolstenholme has a more formal and serious tone that belies the nature of the sport. His knowledge of football was exemplary, however, while he also has the distinction of having commentated on England’s seminal World Cup final victory of West Germany at Wembley.

Capturing the mood and the importance of Geoff Hurst’s decisive fourth goal perfectly, Wolstenholme uttered the immortal lines ‘some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over – it is now’. This has gone into folklore as the most iconic piece of commentary ever, and it certainly cemented Wolstenholme’s reputation as much as it did Hurst’s.

Roy Keane

From a pundit perspective, few provoke as much discussion as former Manchester United legend Roy Keane.

Having worked extensively with ITV since his managerial career hit the skids, Keane has reinforced his reputation as a tough, opinionated and no nonsense pundit with considerable experience of the game. Often confrontational and direct to the point of being rude, Keane is not afraid to say what other pundits are thinking or deflate the egos of highly paid professionals. While other pundits may have worked for longer, few have the impact or the box office appeal of Keane.

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