Jeff Stelling has change of heart and says he will continue on Soccer Saturday | Soccer

Jeff Stelling has made a surprise U-turn on his decision to leave the Sky Sports programme Soccer Saturday at the end of the season and announced he will present the show for at least another year.

Stelling, 67, announced in October this would be his last season fronting Sky’s successful show, and was expected to leave in May at the end of the domestic season.

However the veteran presenter and Hartlepool fan, who has worked at Sky for 30 years, has had a change of heart and said on Monday: “Sky Sports is my home, and the Soccer Saturday team are a big part of my life.

“As the end of the season approached, and I was preparing to say goodbye, I realised that I was not ready to blow the final whistle and leave the best job in the world.

“I am thrilled to be staying, and excited about moving the show forward and creating more special Saturday afternoons on Sky Sports.”

It puts to an end the speculation over who could be handed the daunting task of stepping into Stelling’s shoes, and the news clearly came as a relief to the management at Sky, who confirmed Stelling will stay for the 2022-23 season.

Jonathan Licht, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Football fans everywhere will be delighted that Jeff will continue to host Soccer Saturday.

“He is a massive part of Saturday afternoon life and everyone at Sky Sports shares the joy this news will bring. We just can’t get enough of Jeff, and can’t wait to bring more of his broadcasting magic to our viewers.”

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