Sky Sports make 'internal' decision on Jeff Stelling's replacement as Soccer Saturday host
| Last updated
Sky Sports will make 'an internal appointment' when they replace Jeff Stelling as the host of Soccer Saturday, according to reports.
Back in April, the face of Soccer Saturday announced his departure from the popular show after "30 fantastic years" at Sky.
“It is Groundhog Day, that time of the year when I announce that I am leaving Sky Sports and Gillette Soccer Saturday,” Stelling said.
“This time it is true. After 30 fantastic years on Sky, you lot out there have supported me, as have Sky, but it’s time to give you a break from all the VAR rants and bad gags and over the top celebrations when Hartlepool score a goal and give someone else the chance to do this fantastic job."
Talks over who will take Stelling job's ahead of the 2023/24 campaign have been rife. Earlier this month, it was reported that fellow Sky presenter Adam Smith was in pole position to take over the role.
A source told The Sun: “Smithy is the frontrunner to take on Jeff’s role. There are a lot of people behind the scenes who are batting for him to get the job.
“Soccer Saturday is a tough gig and it needs a solid broadcaster who is quick on their feet. Stepping into Jeff’s shoes is a massive responsibility but plenty of his colleagues think Smithy is the right person for the job.”
Smith, who hosts the Saturday Social, reportedly impressed when he interviewed for the role last year.
Mark Chapman and Julian Warren, a senior presenter on Sky Sports News and the host of Soccer Special, were also said to be involved in those discussions.
The start of a very busy week for Mental Health Awareness Week, a HUGE passion of mine! ❤️— Adam Smithy (@AdamJSmithy) May 16, 2023
Great to kick it off by hosting this event with the brilliant @romankemp ! What a great bloke who spoke so honestly and openly about all things Mental Health! #MentalHealthMatters pic.twitter.com/vikKqczC8c
With all the above in mind, a report from the Daily Mail ahead of Stelling's last day on Sunday suggests Sky Sports will hire within their own ranks to replace the Hartlepool fan.
Whatever happens, the iconic voice of Stelling will be sorely missed in the coming seasons.
Many on social media have paid tribute to one of the all-time great presenters ahead of Sunday's final show.
One said: "Last Soccer AM today. Last Jeff Stelling Soccer Saturday tomorrow. This is going to be a hard weekend to get through," while another commented: "The world is changing and I do not like it."
A third added: "End of an era for a generation of @SkySports viewers this weekend. Love them or dislike them, Jeff Stelling and Soccer AM were a huge part of sports mad enthusiasts 1990’s and 2000’s TV viewing."
Absolute legend Jeff Stelling— Jonesy (@craigyjones1983) May 27, 2023
Absolutely no one sky can hire will be anyone near Jeff. No one on their current payroll, no one on bt sport when their show finishes end of season pic.twitter.com/YHh1SV9DCl
Who should replace Jeff Stelling next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.