Jeff Stelling was reduced to tears after giving an emotional speech on mental health during Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday broadcast.
Stelling, who has fronted the popular football results show since 1994, dropped the bombshell last month that this season will be his last one working for Sky.
And in his penultimate show as host, the renowned broadcaster spoke honestly on the important topic of mental health – specifically eating disorders in this case.
Stelling revealed more people die from eating disorders than any other mental disorder each year and proceeded to launch into a rant about the government’s lack of awareness for such issues.
“There was a march this morning, this relates to [anorexia sufferer] Abby Davies actually,” he said.
“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. 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.”
Stelling added: “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.”
It was an immensely powerful speech from Stelling and one that will no doubt resonate with a lot of people.
VIDEO: Jeff Stelling’s emotional mental health speech
It’s fair to say that Soccer Saturday won’t feel the same without Stelling.
VIDEO: Jeff Stelling confirms Sky departure
Speaking on his departure last month, he said: “It is Groundhog Day, that time of the year when I announce that I am leaving Sky Sports and Gillette Soccer Saturday,” Stelling said.
“This time it is true. After 30 fantastic years on Sky, you lot out there have supported me, as have Sky, but it’s time to give you a break from all the VAR rants and bad gags and over-the-top celebrations when Hartlepool score a goal and give someone else the chance to do this fantastic job.”
You’ll be missed Jeff. You’ll be missed.