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Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
Jeff Stelling has announced he will be leaving Gillette Soccer Saturday and Sky Sports at the end of the season in an emotional on-air speech.
Stelling has hosted the programme since 1994 but confirms this season will be his last.
Before Saturday's 3pm kick-offs started, the 66-year-old took some time to make a personal announcement in-studio.
"I've got some team news from Sky Sports and Soccer Saturday to tell you," Stelling said.
:rotating_light: ' Jeff Stelling announces that he is leaving Soccer Saturday at the end of the season pic.twitter.com/2WvGmsJVa0
- Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 30, 2021
"I'll have been at Sky for 30 years next year and have hosted Soccer Saturday for the last 25 or so of those, I'm not too clever with statistics. I've come to the decision, and incredibly difficult decision, that this will be my final season.
"It's been my decision. Sky have been brilliant with me as they always have done.
"I'm not intending to retire, that's up to people out there.
"It's time to let somebody else have a go at what is the best job in the world. After all, I wouldn't want to get the point I call Wraith Rovers, Roth Wraithers. We wouldn't want that would we?
"I'm going to be here until May and then leaving the show and the company. That's about seven months of Saturday afternoon parties so let's get this party going!"
Jeff Stelling, one of a kind
27 years of unbelievable memories, happy retirement! :crown: pic.twitter.com/YiX15fWmPv
- Super 6 (@Super6) October 30, 2021
Before he could read the Newcastle United team news, Stelling's friends and colleagues in the studio stood up to give him a round of applause.
Jonathan Licht, the Managing Director of Sky Sports, said in a statement: "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."
A true icon of British television and whoever is chosen to replace him, will have massive boots to fill.
Thanks for the memories, Jeff. There's been a red card for who?