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Jeff Stelling spent 108 games tracking ex-Chelsea midfielder's 'sad' search for a goal on Soccer Saturday, it was pointless

John McDougall

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Jeff Stelling spent 108 games tracking ex-Chelsea midfielder's 'sad' search for a goal on Soccer Saturday, it was pointless

Jeff Stelling spent nearly 30 years at the helm of Soccer Saturday and did plenty of research in that time - but has revealed one statistic which was ultimately pointless for him.

The legendary broadcaster stood down at host of the Sky Sports Saturday afternoon programme earlier this year after nearly three decades of service following the conclusion of the 2022/23 campaign.

For many in that time, he became the soundtrack to their Saturday afternoon as they listened and watched as the goals went in across the divisions, and his memorable interactions with his pundit colleagues and reporters around the grounds.

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Stelling has now departed Soccer Saturday, but the legendary Hartlepool United fan has not retired, and has taken up a job at national radio station talkSPORT which he is due to begin shortly as a breakfast show host.

As the Soccer Saturday host, Stelling would often have to give an interesting statistic if possible when a goal was scored and he announced it.

The kind of thing like the first goal a player had scored this season, or netted their first in so many games.

But there was a statistic for one player which Stelling tracked week by week he intended to read out on air to announce the end of a goal draught, but never got the chance to ultimately.

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And the player in question is former Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran.

Former Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran. (Credit: Getty)
Former Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran. (Credit: Getty)

His statistical work on McEachran ultimately spanned years as he waited for the midfielder to score the first goal of his professional career.

McEachran finally did break that duck in 2018 when the midfielder had moved on to Brentford to give the Bees the lead against Birmingham City, but it was typical that Stelling was not on duty that day and therefore missed the chance to wheel out the statistic he had tracked for so long.

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Speaking to talkSPORT Breakfast on Friday, Stelling said: "I used to follow a guy called Josh McEachran who played for Chelsea and then Brentford and I noticed he hadn’t scored in 80 games.

"So I made a little note saying McEachran, ‘0 in 80’ then the next week 81, 82 and this went on for three years – 0 in 188.

Stelling wasn't able to put his stats to use. (Image Credit: Getty)
Stelling wasn't able to put his stats to use. (Image Credit: Getty)

"I thought one day I’m going to punch the air on Soccer Saturday and say Josh McEachran has scored his first ever goal and would you believe it, his 189th game was on a Tuesday night and I was sitting at home watching Julian Warren because they had the Soccer Special.

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“It came through on the vidiprinter, Brentford 1 Birmingham 0 – McEachran. I couldn’t believe it.

"Anyway, he scored his first goal in 189 and how sad is this? He’s now scored 1 in 331!"

The midfielder is now with League One side Oxford United, as he awaits the second goal of his playing career.

Featured Image Credit: talkSPORT/Sky Sports

Topics: Chelsea, Jeff Stelling, Sky Sports

John McDougall
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