Jeff Stelling breaks down in tears as he adresses eating disorders on Soccer Saturday
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Jeff Stelling struggled to hold back the tears as he delivered an emotional speech about eating disorders during his penultimate appearance on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday.
In April the 68-year-old host announced that he will be leaving the broadcaster at the end of the season after 30 years.
Stelling is a household name in sports broadcasting, loved just as much for his personable, decent nature as he is for his football knowledge.
In that spirit and in the name of Mental Health Awareness week, Stelling and his pundits used a segment of his penultimate Soccer Saturday show to discuss eating disorders.
Stelling revealed that eating disorders are a bigger killer than any other mental disorder, and was unable to hold back the tears as he delivered his message.
"This is a difficult topic, it's my second last show so I'm going to have my final sort of rant if you like. I've got to be careful to get it right," Stelling began.
"There was a march this morning, this relates to [anorexia sufferer] Abby Davies actually.
"There was a march this morning in central London by the people who run the 'Dump The Scales' campaign. It's led by the indefatigable Hope Virgo every year.
"More people die from eating disorders every year than any other mental illness. The Government's lack of awareness and funding is a national disgrace. They decided to put calories for goodness sake on people's menus.
"Up to 20 percent of all eating disorder cases end in death and the cycle goes like that.
"Abby said: 'Boy, girl, woman, man, goes for help, they are told they are not thin enough, they are not underweight enough to need treatment.
"They go away, they lose more weight, they go further and deeper into the mental morass that they're in. They have suicidal tendencies.
"They are then told 'You are now too thin to be treated' and are offered palliative care for god's sake.
"So we're not going to help you but we will try and ensure you die comfortably. It's 2023.
"Eating disorders are being swept under the carpet. No one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2023. "Those with eating disorders need action and help and they need it now."
Stelling first joined the programme in 1994 when it was called Sports Saturday.
He initially announced his retirement in 2021, but he ended up reversing his decision and staying on for another season.
"I've been at Sky for more than 30 years and loved every moment of my time as part of the Soccer Saturday team,' Stelling told Sky Sports in April.
"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. It's been a lot of fun - for me at least!"