This has to go down as the most iconic football commentating moment ever with England just seconds away from winning their first ever World Cup on home soil back in 1966.
With just moments to go, the referee puts his whistle to his mouth but allows play to continue, giving Geoff Hurst time to advance towards the German penalty with the ball. “They think it’s all over”, described Kenneth. Hurst then fires home left footed to cement England’s place in the history books as World Champions. “It is now”, he concludes. Gets better every time you here it.
2. Brian Moore – Liverpool v Arsenal, 1989
Commentator Brian Moore will always be remember for his words during the closing stages of a mouth watering clash at Anfield between the top two sides in the Old First Division, Liverpool and Arsenal who were both playing for the league title.
Arsenal needed to win by two clear goals and led 1-0 and with minutes to go when Michael Thomas found himself with the opportunity to win the title for Arsenal. “It’s up for grabs now,” described Moore before the ball ended up in the back of the net.
3. David Coleman – Liverpool v Newcastle, 1974
This match contained two phrases which perfectly described two Liverpool goals in such a comedic tone. The first accurately describes just what football was all about back in the 70’s era, “Goals pay the rent, Keegan does his share!”
His second was even better. “A beautiful ball to Smith, he didn’t have to move to get it. Hall to Smith. Heighway, Liverpool showing their party pieces, he wasn’t offside, Smith … yes! Keegan’s second and Newcastle were undressed! They were absolutely stripped naked!” The perfect way to describe total-football.
This is the match that transformed the career of John Motson and turned him into one of if not the most successful and widely recognised football commentators in English Football.
A screamer from Ronnie Radford against Newcastle drew the game level and was followed by an unforgettable scream from ‘Motty’ which was then used in the opening credits for the Match of the Day programme in years to come.
5. Fabio Caressa – Italy v Germany, World Cup 2006
It’s difficult to remain unbiased and keep calm when your country has just sealed its place in a World Cup final after a dramatic late goal against Germany, but to lose it altogether makes this moment from Sky Italia’s Fabio Caressa one of the most surprising moments in football commentary.
In his words, “its Pirlo, Pirlo, Pirlo, still Pirlo, lays it off, shot … GOOOOAL! GOOOOAL! GOOOOAL! Grosso! Grosso! GOOAL! Goal from Grosso! Goal from Grosso! Goal from Grosso! One minute left! One minute left! Goal from Grosso! Goal from Grosso! Goal from Grosso! Incredible! Incredible! We’re ahead with a minute left! We’re ahead with a minute left! Goal from Grosso!”
6. Martin Tyler – Liverpool v Newcastle, 1996
It has been labelled the greatest ever Premier League match, pitching two of the country’s finest sides at the time, with minutes to go and the scores level Liverpool made one final counter attack which produced one of the most iconic pieces of commentary in the Premier League.
Was there chance for a late Liverpool winner? “Rush, Barnes, Rush, Barnes, still John Barnes, Collymore closing in! Liverpool lead in stoppage time, Kevin Keegan hangs his head, he’s devastated!” Of course there was and Tyler described the events superbly with an exciting, unbiased tone.
7. John Motson – Germany v England, World Cup Qualifier
This was a defining match for Sven Goran Eriksson as his England stars came from behind to defeat a strong German outfit 5-1 on their home soil to cement themselves as genuine World Cup contenders.
‘Motty’ as he is better known in the football world was on hand to provide perfect match commentary and his description of Michael Owens hat-trick will always be remembered. “Oh, this is getting better and better and better! One two and three for Michael Owen.”
8. Barry Davis – England v Germany, Euro 96
England, in front of their own supporters and once more, in a semi-final with their fierce rivals Germany, can’t find a way past their stubborn opponents with Paul Gascoigne coming close in the final stages and find themselves in yet another penalty shoot-out to progress to the final stage of a major international tournament.
It comes down to one man. Gareth Southgate must score to keep England in the competition. He steps up. Cue the iconic Barry Davis, “Ooooh no! You have nothing but sympathy for the man who doesn’t score!” Those first words epitomised the thoughts and actions of a whole nation as England are harshly removed from Euro 96.
9. David Coleman – Sunderland v Leeds, FA Cup final 1973
Coleman was on hand to describe one of the biggest FA Cup final shocks of all time as Leeds were undone by underdogs Sunderland in 1973, but instead of talking, Coleman simply kept quiet and let the thunderous sounds of red & white supporters do the description for him.
10. Bjørge Lillelien – Norway v England, 1981
This famous rant came at the need of a surprise victory for the Norwegians’ against England on home soil. The 30 second taunt included naming “Sir Winston Churchill”, “Lady Dianna” and “Margaret Thatcher, can you hear me!”