After leaving Sky Sports, Jeff Stelling will return to television.
After 39 years of broadcasting football, Hartlepool’s most renowned fan retired after the 2022/23 season. Fans were relieved when he reversed his retirement to play another year on Soccer Saturday due to his demeanor and relationship with colleagues.
“It all seems like an out of body experience (with my body, you would want to be out of it),” Stelling tweeted after his tearful exit, suggesting he was not retiring. I appreciate all the warm messages. I’ll evaluate my possibilities for a few weeks before making a decision.”
Stelling has met with BBC and Amazon Prime, but Sky has yet to announce his replacement. The latter want a major brand to host Champions League coverage, which they get in 2024.
Tyler’s successor is veteran pundit Peter Drury.
However, he won’t leave until late 2023. According to the Daily Mail, Stelling is on gardening leave from Sky until December.
The icon may not return to TV until early 2024. Sky knows his appeal, so releasing him early to work for a rival network is unlikely.
Soccer Saturday’s former Countdown host isn’t alone. Like Stelling, Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas, and Matt Le Tissier left, but not on their own terms.
Sky also dropped longtime announcer Martin Tyler from their live games. The 77-year-old, like Stelling, had led the coverage for three decades with his voice.