Simon Thomas admits he will be ‘happy’ if he does ‘even half the job’ of Jeff Stelling over his 25 years on Soccer Saturday… as he replaces the legendary presenter in the hot seat for debut show
- Simon Thomas made his debut as the new lead presenter of Soccer Saturday
- The 50-year-old replaces Jeff Stelling after 25 years at the helm of the show
- Paul Merson and Neil Lennon were among the panel for Thomas’ first show
Sky Sports’ iconic results service, Soccer Saturday, is back underway for the new season with Simon Thomas at the helm.
The ex-Blue Peter presenter replaces Jeff Stelling after 25 years in the hot seat and humbly admitted he will be ‘happy if does even half the job’ that the legendary host did during his time on the show.
Introducing the programme for the first time in his new role, Thomas said: ‘Hi there, very good afternoon. In the blink of an eye the football season is back.
‘It’s like autumn out there, so it’s high time it returns. It’s a new season, we have new managers, new players and there’s a bit of a new feel as you might have already seen to Soccer Saturday.
‘We have a new studio, a new look, but hopefully everything you still love about this terrific show. 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”.
Simon Thomas made his debut this afternoon as Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday new lead presenter
It comes after Jeff Stelling quit the role following 25 years hosting the iconic results show
‘I have not brought the boots today. I have brought 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.’
The camera then panned out to reveal the new modern studio as Thomas introduced his panel for the opening show; Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Neil Lennon, Sue Smith and Michael Dawson.
Thomas’ appointment will no doubt be popular among colleagues and fans. The 50-was previously one of Sky’s main Premier League presenters before stepping away from the role following the tragic death of his wife six years ago.
He saw off stiff competition from other Sky presenters Caroline Barker and Jules Warren to secure the role and looks to be settling in nicely as the new host.