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Soccer Saturday
Format Football news
Starring Paul Dempsey (1992-1994)
Jeff Stelling (1994-Present)
Opening theme Requiem for a Tower by Corner Stone Cues
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Running time 330 - 360 minutes
Original channel Sky Sports
Original airing 1992
External links
Official website

Gillette Soccer Saturday is a weekly television programme broadcast on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland during the football season. The programme updates viewers on the progress of association football games in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Saturday afternoons. The current host is Jeff Stelling. The programme is sponsored by Gillette.



Soccer Saturday grew out of Sports Saturday, which started in 1992 hosted by Paul Dempsey. Current host Jeff Stelling joined the programme in 1994 and became its sole presenter a year later. The name of the programme changed to Soccer Saturday in 1998.


Soccer Saturday is broadcast from 12pm on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports 1, and lasts for up to six hours. The programme begins with the host and four regular in-studio pundits previewing the weekend's matches, reviewing recent results and debating current issues in football. Viewers are kept updated on the progress of early kick-offs by reporters at the games and by graphics below and to the right of the director's cut. These graphics also includes latest team news and league standings. If Sky Sports is covering a Premier League or Football League match at 12.45pm, match coverage replaces Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports 1 at 12.30pm whilst the programme continues on Sky Sports News.

Just before 3pm, Sky Sports 1 recommences its simulcast with Sky Sports News in time for the 3pm matches, none of which are televised in the UK (and only one of which is televised in Ireland). The graphics display a vidiprinter and cycle through current scores in the English and Scottish leagues, with Jeff Stelling providing commentary on the events as they unfold. Significant events at the most high profile games - almost always in the Premier League - are described by the studio panel who each watch a game on a monitor. Other games deemed important are reported on by correspondents at the grounds connected to the studio by a video link, ISDN or telephone.

After the 3pm games finish, the classified football results are read by Alan Lambourne. Immediately afterwards, Sky Sports 1 provides live coverage of the 5.15pm Football League match, with Soccer Saturday continuing on Sky Sports News. The studio pundits discuss the games they have been watching, and post-match interviews with players and managers are shown conducted by that evening's Football First commentators.


Soccer Special

A programme with a similar format is also broadcast when there are a number of midweek games, usually in the UEFA Champions League, in which case it is known as Soccer Special. Since the start of the 2008/09 season, Soccer Special has been hosted by Ed Chamberlin who had previously shared presenting the programme with Ian Payne during the previous season. Soccer Special was hosted by Stelling until he began presenting Monday Night Football at the start of the 2005/06 season.

The Soccer Special name is also used when a full afternoon programme of football is shown on a day other than Saturday, which usually only occurs on Boxing Day and the last day of the Premier League season (which is normally played on a Sunday). On these occasions the programme is normally presented by Stelling and follows the normal Soccer Saturday format.

Sports Saturday

During the summer the show is replaced with Sports Saturday which is more akin to the show's original format, concentrating on sports other than football due to the absence of competitive football during the summer. This again is presented by Chamberlin. However in 2009 Sports Saturday was not shown and Sky Sports News just continued airing their normal weekday schedule. This may be down to the presenter of the show Ed Chamberlin being diagnosed with Cancer.[1]

Presenters and experts

Rodney Marsh was a regular pundit, known for his outspoken views, until being sacked by Sky Sports in early 2005 after a poor taste joke referencing the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami[2]. The late George Best was also a regular until leaving in 2004 to fight alcohol problems.[citation needed]

See also


External links


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