Sunday, June 23, 2024

Why Simon Thomas is not hosting Soccer Saturday as last minute Sky Sports change revealed – The Mirror


Jeff Stelling stepped down as the presenter of Soccer Saturday during the summer – with Sky Sports favourite Simon Thomas replacing the legendary host in the hot seat
Simon Thomas didn't host Soccer Saturday this weekend after Covid "hit" his household.
Thomas, who succeeded Jeff Stelling as the presenter of Sky Sports' football results show in July, was replaced by Caroline Barker for this Saturday's programme. Barker is best known for presenting Women's Super League and Netball Super League action on Sky.
Thomas confirmed his absence just after 10am on Saturday, around two hours before the show started. "Sadly no Soccer Saturday for me today – Covid has hit the Thomas household," he wrote on X, with fans wishing him and his loved ones a speedy recovery.
Soccer Saturday's primary presenter then offered some encouragement to his temporary replacement. Thomas added: "Caroline Barker is in the hot seat today. Go well CB – you'll be brilliant. See you next week (with a fingers crossed emoji)."
Thomas succeeded Stelling after the latter's long career with Sky came to an end during the summer. Stelling presented Soccer Saturday for more than 25 years.
"I've been at Sky for more than 30 years and loved every moment of my time as part of the Soccer Saturday team," said Stelling after his exit was confirmed. "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!"
Gary Hughes, who is Sky's director of football, added: "Jeff has been synonymous with Saturday afternoon football for decades, exciting and enthusing football fans everywhere… he will be sorely missed."
What are your thoughts on the new-look Soccer Saturday? Let us know in the comments below!
After Thomas was announced as Stelling's replacement, he said: "Being asked to present this iconic show and follow in the footsteps of Jeff Stelling, an absolute giant of sports broadcasting, is a massive honour and one I simply cannot wait to get started on."
Thomas also paid tribute to Stelling during his debut Soccer Saturday appearance in August. He said: "Now, before we go any further I just want to say this, over the last couple of weeks, one or two people said, 'You've got some rather large boots to fill'.
"I have not brought the boots today. I have bought my own shoes, a nice comfortable pair of size 10 leather brown shoes. But I want to say this, it is an absolute honour to take on the role of hosting this quite brilliant show and if I can do even half the job that the legend Jeff Stelling did over the last 25 years, I will have done something right."
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