Jeff Stelling will step down as host of Soccer Saturday at the end of the season after 25 YEARS in the hotseat – but legendary broadcaster insists he is not retiring despite leaving Sky Sports next May
Jeff Stelling will be stepping down as the host of Sky’s Soccer Saturday at the end of the season after 25 years in the role.
The legendary broadcaster has decided to call it a day at the end of the current football season after a 30+ year career at Sky, including over 25 years as the award-winning host of Soccer Saturday.
The 66-year-old announced live on air that he would be leaving Sky Sports but would not be retiring and he received a standing ovation from the rest of the panel.
Jeff Stelling will be stepping down as host of Sky’s Soccer Saturday at the end of the season
The 66-year-old received a standing ovation from the rest of the panel on Saturday lunchtime
He said: ‘I have come to the incredibly difficult decision that this will be my last season.’
‘This is my decision – there has been no pressure. Sky have been absolutely brilliant with me, as they always have been. I am not intending to retire but it is time to let somebody else have a go at what is the best job in the world.’
Stelling has been synonymous with Saturday afternoon football for decades, exciting football fans up and down the country.
Stelling’s departure next May will come after Sky sacked Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier last year in a shake-up of the punditry panel on the show.
Stelling also commented in a press release: ‘I have loved every moment of my 30 years with Sky, but like every Saturday afternoon the time eventually comes to blow the final whistle.
‘I am proud to have been part of such a winning team for so long and look forward to the many more special moments on Soccer Saturday for rest of this season – and perhaps even another promotion push from Hartlepool United.’
Stelling, a big Hartlepool fan, at a game with his son Robbie (L) and club director Ian Stoble (R) back in August 2019
Jonathan Licht, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: ‘Jeff is a true broadcasting legend and has been a big part of Sky Sports growth and popularity over the last 30 years.
‘Jeff’s pure passion and dedication to the game has set him apart and made Soccer Saturday a fixture for millions of fans every Saturday afternoon.
‘The goals, the laughs, the red cards and the missed red cards have helped create one of the most popular TV shows in sport and Jeff has been the centrepiece of that.
‘Jeff will be sorely missed, but we are delighted that he will leading the team through to the end of the season. There will rightly be many tributes to Jeff, and Sky Sports will be giving him the great send off in May that his remarkable and enduring contribution deserves.’