Best Football Commentators

The Top 10 Most Iconic Football Commentators

Football commentators remark on the events of the game as it happen, expressing their view as neutral in the stands. However, their voice and lingo add a special flavour to the moment, making it a delight for the ears.

Why are there two commentators in football?

A duo works to explain different scenarios of the game, with one professional commentator describing minute-by-minute action and another, mostly a former player or coach, giving supplementary input on relevant points.

Below are the top-ranked commentators:

10. Ian Darke (TNT Sports)

Ian Darke
Credits: USA Today

Darke was previously part of Sky Sports’ original Big Four alongside Martin Tyler, Alan Parry, and Rob Hawthorne, but majorly contributed to the other side. Even though his work is a bit of Premier League propaganda, his longevity and distinctive style will always be respected. Darke joined the BT Sport team for 2013/14 Premier League matches and also commentated for the 2014, 2016,2017, and 2019 FA Cup Final. He was also part of Prime Video’s UK Premier League coverage.

9. Guy Mowbray (BBC)

Credits- BBC

Everyone thinks you’re biased when being a MOTD commentator, however, Mowbray has been running the show for quite some time, remaining as one of the few distinctive voices to date. His flat Yorkshire tones fit the bill when conveying how unimpressed he is by something, and we all need that sometimes. He was part of the Euro 2000 and Euro 2004 as well as the 2002 World Cup. As ITV held the rights for Premiership highlights, Mowbray was a regular commentator alongside Clive Tyldesley, Peter Drury, and Jon Champion on the Saturday night highlights show for three seasons.

8. Peter Drury (Sky Sports)

Credits- The Telegraph

Peter has brought a poetic style to the game and his words add the required impact to the high and low moments of the game. Even though, a previous SA commentator of the year a few years ago, some get annoyed by the nature of his work, he remains a unique broadcaster, which is all that matters.Formerly an ITV Sport’s second-choice football commentator (1998–2013), and freelanced widely post-2013. He covered the Premier League for Premier League Productions (until May 2022), UEFA Champions League and Europa League for CBS Sports (2020-2022), EFL Cup for Pitch International (2022), Premier League for Amazon Prime (2022-23), UEFA leagues for BT Sport (2022-23), and FIFA World Cups (2014, 2018, 2022)

7. Jon Champion (ITV)

Credits- ESPN

Known for the Cut his Teeth moment a long time ago on 5 Live, Jon is to be found on ITV playing Abbot to Coisty’s Costello, on the Amazon Prime platform. His explanation of statistics is always good and warm to the ears. He commentated for BBC Radio 5 between 1992 and 1996 covering Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Football League matches. During this period, Champion also took part in the 1994 and 1996 First Division play-off Finals and the 1996 UEFA Champions League Final. For ESPN he commentated at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2016. From 2019 to 2022 he majorly covered the MLS. Currently, he is doing Sunday matches for ESPN covering the Premier League.

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6. Jonno Pearce (BBC)

Credits- Football 365

Jonno is easily considered the funniest man on TV or radio, carrying it in a droll style. Known as the opinion divider, the old attack dog yelling at history is a lot more than just a delight. Pearce joined the BBC’s Match of the Day team in 2004 and BT Sport in 2013. He has commentated the FA Cup, League Cup, Championship, five World Cups, four European Championships, three Women’s World Cups, and a Women’s European Championship. Pearce is also a front-line BBC commentator alongside Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, and Simon Brotherton.

5. Vicki Sparks (5 Live)

Credits- BBC

Vicki Sparks has paved the way for women’s commentary in recent times. Known for her ground-breaking work, starting out stiffer but getting relaxed with experience, her roar at an England goal in the final for the Lionesses made her career, as you just relive the moment with your eyes closed as well. Sparks made history on 20 June 2018 as the first woman to commentate a live World Cup match between Portugal and Morocco on British TV during BBC One’s coverage. Despite online criticism, she received support against sexism. She later commentated at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was nominated for Commentator of the Year in November 2023.

4. Conor McNamara (5 Live)

Credits – BBC

Irish voices are always known to add more aura and Conor is no exception. Though not in the 5 Live’s ranks, his superb performance cannot be nabbed. He could be a good drinking pal, though, as he expresses astonishment and boredom while genuinely adding to his very good ability to set goals.

McNamara’s first national radio commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live was Bolton v Tottenham in April 2002. His first Match of the Day commentary for BBC television was Everton versus Aston Villa in October 2004.

McNamara regularly commentates on the Premier League, the FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and internationals. He has worked at every FIFA World Cup since 1998 and every UEFA European Championship since 2004.

Each year from 2014 to 2023, McNamara was nominated as Football Supporters’ Federation Commentator of the Year.

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3. Clive Tyldesley (ITV)

Credits- The Telegraph

Clive has been in a league of his own, the last of the generation of great mic men, despite having mixed opinions on games featuring the younger performers for England. His voice is absolutely compelling and superbly prepared as if it should be a part of football. Tyldesley commentated on every Champions League final between 1998 and 2015 for ITV. He was ITV’s lead commentator at the European Championships from 2000 to 2016 and the World Cup finals between 2002 and 2018.

2. John Murray (5 Live)

Credits- The Telgraph

He was known as The Chief John and has been 5 Live’s main commentator for years. His adaptation to change has been key, as he is more emotional than before. His huge knowledge, adding to his famously mannered personality, and never getting anything wrong are the assets for his longevity. Wearing a part of the old school shirt and tie brigade, the very definition of professionalism is there in front of you.

In 1995 he transferred to the BBC Radio Sport department and by 1998 he become part of the football commentary team.

Murray made his FA Cup final commentary debut on 5 Live on 15 May 2010, describing Chelsea’s 1–0 victory over Portsmouth alongside Ingham. He is now established as the first choice Sunday 4:30 pm commentator.

1. Ian Dennis (5 Live)

Credits- Football 365

Like all the best, the commentary is in his park, where we all pay a visit. Although he remains a private fella, his work is more technical than most.

Dennis brings us the scores on Saturdays, a task he has mastered with time. His judgment cut through perfectly in quiet moments, making a hard thing sound easy. It’s a real work of art. He has all the commentator’s attributes, from command to statistical analysis, but at times, it sounds like he loses it, while overwhelmed, by unfolding action. In 2002, he left Radio Leeds to work as a football commentator for Radio 5 Live, for which he has covered four major international tournaments.

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