Prince William leads tributes after death of football commentator Motson

Prince William on Thursday hailed British football commentator John Motson as "a legend whose voice was football" following the broadcaster's death at the age of 77.

Motson, affectionally nicknamed "Motty", retired in 2018 after a distinguished 50-year career with the BBC.

"It is with great sadness we announce that John Motson OBE died peacefully in his sleep today (Thursday)," said a statement from Motson's family.

Prince William, the president of the Football Association, said in a signed tweet that he was sad to learn about the commentator's death, describing him as "a legend whose voice was football".

The House of Commons heard tributes and a spokesman for Rishi Sunak said the prime minister "offers his condolences".

"He was a legend of the game," the spokesman said. "He was the voice of football for millions of people across the country. He will be deeply missed by fans and the entirety of the football community."

Motson was awarded a UK state honour (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2001 for services to sports broadcasting.

He hung up his microphone for the BBC at the end of the 2017/18 Premier League season.

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."

Current Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker described Motson on Twitter as "a quite brilliant commentator and the voice of football in this country for generations".