Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling breaks down in tears on his penultimate Soccer Saturday show
Jeff Stelling breaks down in tears on his penultimate Soccer Saturday show on Sky Sports, struggling to speak about a campaign about eating disorder deaths before cutting to an advert break
Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling broke down in tears after talking about the dangers of eating disorders.
The 68-year-old announced in April he will be leaving the broadcaster at the end of the season after almost 30 years.
Stelling was presenting his penultimate Soccer Saturday show when the programme broke into a discussion about the effects of eating disorders to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
He revealed more people die from eating disorders than any other mental disorder each year and was unable to hold back the tears before cutting to an advert break.
Speaking on the topic, Stelling said: ‘This is a difficult topic, it’s my second last show so I’m going to have my final sort of rant if you like. I’ve got to be careful to get it right.
Jeff Stelling’s penultimate Soccer Saturday broke into a chat about the effects of eating disorders
The 68-year-old was unable to hold back the tears before the programme was cut for a break
‘There was a march this morning, this relates to [anorexia sufferer] Abby Davies actually. There was a march this morning in central London by the people who run the “Dump The Scales” campaign. It’s led by the indefatigable Hope Virgo every year.
‘More people die from eating disorders every year than any other mental illness. The Government’s lack of awareness and funding is a national disgrace. They decided to put calories for goodness sake on people’s menus.
‘Up to 20 per cent of all eating disorder cases end in death and the cycle goes like that. Abby said: ‘Boy, girl, woman, man, goes for help, they are told they are not thin enough, they are not underweight enough to need treatment.
‘They go away, they lose more weight, they go further and deeper into the mental morass that they’re in. They have suicidal tendencies. They are then told ‘You are now too thin to be treated’ and are offered palliative care for god’s sake.
‘So we’re not going to help you but we will try and ensure you die comfortably. It’s 2023.
‘Eating disorders are being swept under the carpet. No one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2023. Those with eating disorders need action and help and they need it now.’
Stelling has been a mainstay of Soccer Saturday on Sky for nearly three decades, having first joined the programme in 1994 under its previous title of Sports Saturday.
The legendary broadcaster initially called time on his stint with Soccer Saturday in 2021 after insisting he would depart at the end of that campaign, but the veteran broadcaster ultimately returned for an additional season.
Stelling announced he will be leaving Sky Sports and Soccer Saturday at the end of the season
Much-loved presenter has spent nearly three decades as the face of the weekly programme
‘I’ve been at Sky for more than 30 years and loved every moment of my time as part of the Soccer Saturday team,’ Stelling told Sky Sports in April.
‘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!
It is groundhog day, it is that time of the year, every year, where I announce I am leaving Sky Sports and Gillette Soccer Saturday. But this time it is true.’
Sky Sports are yet to announce who will replace Stelling as the host of Soccer Saturday.