“The thought of the next football match is usually enough to keep me cheerful”: Under the microscope with John Motson

The 66-year-old veteran Match Of The Day commentator on how he has avoided depression and why he puts on weight during the football season

“I don”t know what I”d be like if I didn”t have a football match to look forward to,” said John Motson


I might not do the half-marathons I did as a young man, but I still run about 15 miles a week.


I’m about 12st 3lb, which is about right for someone of my height (5ft 10in), but I have to watch my weight. I usually put on a stone during the football season so I’m about 13st by the end. I snack while on the move, eating things like chips and sandwiches, and before you know it I’ve put on a few pounds. Thankfully, I manage to shed it during the summer, when I tend to eat more at home. I cut out the comfort foods and have more salads, fish and fruit.


I’m quite partial to a bit of cheese. And I occasionally have a late-night glass of whisky — but I certainly don’t go out on the lash, so to speak. That said, I’ve got a pretty sweet tooth. And if I get into the cake and the chocolate and the biscuits, well, it’s all too easy to keep nibbling away, isn’t it


I have a miltivitamin pill that my wife, Anne, gives me in the morning, but nothing more serious than that. I’ve no idea whether they do any good — but I certainly don’t think they do any harm.

“I occasionally have a late-night glass of whisky – but I certainly don”t go out on the lash”


As a child, I had a bad attack of measles — I was only about four or five — but in those days it was regarded as very serious. I was in bed for two or three weeks but, thankfully, I made a full recovery. I’ve had nothing other than the occasional cold and cough ever since.


I have one every year with a fellow in Harley Street who’s been looking after my health since the 1970s. My last check-up — a very thorough one — was about a month ago. The verdict I’m in reasonably good shape.


I’ve always slept well. I usually get seven to eight hours a night. I tend to hit the pillow about 11.30pm to midnight — after watching the news. I used to do a lot of travelling when I covered England’s overseas matches, and it’s certainly not as easy sleeping in a series of different hotels abroad, but I very rarely took sleeping pills. Once or twice maybe, but no more.

“Luckily, my job is so exciting that I”ve never consciously suffered depression”


Luckily, my job is so exciting that I’ve never consciously suffered depression. The thought of the next football match is usually enough to keep me cheerful. I don’t know what I’d be like if I didn’t have a football match to look forward to though!


Everybody would like to live for ever, wouldn’t they I’m just hoping that the good health I’ve enjoyed all my life will continue for a few more…

John Motson has just celebrated 40 unbroken years as a commentator with BBC1’s Match Of The Day.