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Jeff Stelling reveals he had to leave Sky Sports Soccer Saturday as ‘fighting every week’ was ‘making me ill’

JEFF STELLING has revealed he quit Sky Sports Soccer Saturday because “fighting” every week was “making me ill”.

The popular broadcaster, 68, left the cult show last May after an incredible 29 years fronting its fun mix of live football coverage and sharp banter.

Jeff Stelling is more relaxed away from Soccer Saturday

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Jeff Stelling is more relaxed away from Soccer Saturday
Pundit Chris Kamara was just as much a fans' favourite on the show as Jeff Stelling and became the first guest on the broadcaster's new podcast

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Pundit Chris Kamara was just as much a fans’ favourite on the show as Jeff Stelling and became the first guest on the broadcaster’s new podcastCredit: Sportsfile

But he says he became too “tired” and “stressed” to go out afterwards on Saturday nights with his wife and family.

And although the Hartlepool fan believes Sky were “wonderful” to him during his broadcasting career, the relationship became strained when they often overlooked his views on how the show should develop.

Stelling was also ruffled by the departure from Soccer Saturday in 2020 of close friends Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas.

Iconic commentator Martin Tyler and long-time interviewer Geoff Shreevesalso went by the end of last season amid a shake-up.

Stelling, who is now loving life touring theatres with football guests, told The Guardian: “I had the most fantastic run on the show.

“But the show was heading in a direction which meant it wasn’t quite the same.

“Even though I’d been there a long time, I felt some of my views weren’t considered at all. Every week I was fighting a battle. I got tired of fighting and it was making me ill.

“Eventually, I went to Sky’s management and said: ‘This is making me unwell. I’ve got to step away from it.’”

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But he added: “I’m almost ashamed to say it because my dad worked in a steelworks and would come back from his shift covered in grime and muck and absolutely exhausted.

“He would never have allowed me to say I was shattered after a TV show. But I felt it was making me ill so I had to step away.”

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