Jeff Stelling left 'starstruck' after one of world's most famous people calls him to say 'thank you'
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Jeff Stelling says he was "starstruck" after one of the world's most recognised musicians called him up to say thank you for his efforts on Soccer Saturday.
Back in April, after almost three decades of hosting the much-loved programme, Hartlepool fan Stelling announced his departure from Sky.
"It is now the right time to move on and give Sky Sports viewers a break from my relentless rants, bad gags and over the top celebrations of Hartlepool United goals," he said. "It's been a lot of fun - for me at least!"
A month later and Stelling presented Gillette Labs Soccer Special for the final time alongside pundits Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Kris Boyd, Michael Dawson and Sue Smith.
Towards the end of the show, Sky paid tribute to the presenter with a brilliant six-minute compilation video of some of his best bits, including the iconic moment when Chris Kamara missed that red card against Portsmouth.
Stelling then delivered a wonderful speech that name dropped a number of big names in the world of football and beyond, including British singer and boyhood Watford fan, Elton John.
"It's fantastic to see the people we've all worked with over the years," he said. "The likes of Alan Mullery and Clive Allen as well as all of the old gang.
"I've had some fantastic messages - Gordon Strachan texted me this morning, Neil Warnock, Kammy [Chris Kamara] of course.
"Elton John rang me this week. I was starstruck when Elton John rang me at home to say thank you so much for all you've done.
"And he said: 'Every week you tell me Watford are losing, and every week you tell me Hartlepool are losing so I feel like we're kindred spirits'.”
A final farewell from Jeff Stelling ❤️ pic.twitter.com/CoqTa2qjWw— Sky Sports (@SkySports) May 28, 2023
Stelling added: "It's a team game, right from the people in the call centres who take your calls to the runners, the production team, the people behind the cameras.
"Everyone I've worked with over the past 30 years I'd like to thank you for that.
"It's not just on this show, I just want to mention the people on the winning post, the horse racing paper I worked on for many years.
"Times of Our Lives which I adored doing. The live snooker, darts, greyhound racing, pool. It's been absolutely wonderful. It's been the best job anyone could wish for.
"The principal success is you lot at home. Soccer Saturday will be back and I'll be watching - when Hartlepool are not playing."
If you haven't yet watched the tribute to Stelling, then I highly recommend you do so. Take a look below.
25 years of Jeff Stelling comes to an end. 😪— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 28, 2023
A legend leaves. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pAPlOHFGPr
A day after his final show, Stelling opened up on his plan for the coming weeks.
"The morning after the day before." he wrote. "It all seems like an out of body experience (with my body, you would want to be out of it).
"I wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming number of kind messages. I’m going to take a few weeks to assess my options and then decide what is next."