LONG-RUNNING radio talk-in show The Legends has been axed ahead of the new season.
The programme featuring Sunderland 1973 FA Cup winner Micky Horswill, along with Newcastle United and Middlesbrough old boys Malcolm McDonald and Bernie Slaven, has been running for 14 years.
But bosses at Real Radio abruptly announced last night that the show will not be back on the airwaves next season.
A statement from the station said: “The Legends will not be returning to Real Radio and we understand that this news won’t be welcomed by some listeners.
“When the show started more than a decade ago it was among only a handful of debate shows available to fans.
“Now this type of content is widely available whenever and wherever people want it on many different platforms, such as internet forums, fan sites, specialist tv and radio stations and social media. This has no doubt contributed to the gradual decline in audience to The Legends.
“In its place we will be introducing music led programming, consistent with the rest of the day’s output and of appeal to the widest audience.
“We would like to thank our sports presenters for their passion for the show and commitment to the station over the years and wish them the very best for the future.”
Former Sunderland striker Eric Gates was the original Black Cats panellist on the show alongside McDonald and Slaven, before he left the station amid talk of a potential move to BBC Radio Newcastle.
Horswill replaced Gates on the programme, whose name was then shortened from The Three Legends to simply The Legends, and it continued to broadcast on weekday evenings. But the show has faced fierce competition over the last three years from BBC Newcastle’s Total Sport show, featuring ex-Sunderland striker Marco Gabbiadini and former Newcastle defender John Anderson.