Jeff Stelling makes Newcastle United joke as reason for Sky Sports Soccer Saturday stay

Jeff Stelling has confirmed he will continue to present Sky Sports’ iconic football show Soccer Saturday for at least another season.

The 67-year-old announced last October that he would be leaving the role at the end of the 2021-22 season. But he has now decided to carry on into the 2022-23 campaign.

Reflecting on his decision, Stelling told Sky Sports: “Sky Sports is my home, and the Soccer Saturday team are a big part of my life.

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“As the end of the season approached, and I was preparing to say goodbye, I realised that I was not ready to blow the final whistle and leave the best job in the world.

“I am thrilled to be staying, and excited about moving the show forward and creating more special Saturday afternoons on Sky Sports.”

The presenter then announced his decision via his personal Twitter account on Monday evening – jokingly citing pundit Paul Merson and Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin as the reason why.

He posted: “Thanks to everyone for their kind words about my decision to carry on presenting @GilletteSoccerS. Felt job wasn’t complete until Merse finally masters pronouncing [Allan] St Maximin properly!!”

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Jeff Stelling addresses the audience during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling on March 19, 2012 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Saint-Maximin and Merson have previously shared amusing exchanges between one another on social media after the former Arsenal and Aston Villa forward called the Frenchman ‘Sam Maximus’ during a Soccer Saturday broadcast featuring Newcastle's 3-2 win over Southampton in February 2021.

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Saint-Maximin responded: “Congrats to our new players @Joewillock and Sam Maximus for their game! @PaulMerse told me that you did well guys!”

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