Gary Lineker announces decision to walk away from hosting live football coverage

The Match of the Day presenter made the shock announcement ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea

Gary Lineker has announced that he will step down from his role at BT Sport after Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Match of the Day host and former England forward says he wants to take some time out to “do things that I’ve always promised to do”, but there is no indication that he will leave his presenting duties at the BBC.

Lineker, 60, has fronted BT Sport’s Champions League coverage ever since the channel first acquired the rights to the tournament six years ago, but he is now set to walk away after turning down the offer of a new deal.

He tweeted: “Porto’s mouth-watering all-English final this weekend will be my final Champions League show for BT Sport.

Lineker is leaving his role with BT Sport


BT Sport)

“I’ve loved hosting the best club tournament in world football and I’m genuinely proud of being part of the their truly groundbreaking coverage over the past 6 years.”

“I would like to thank BT Sport for the generous renewal offer, but after much thought, I have decided to call it a day.

“I feel it’s time to do things that I’ve always promised myself I’d do: such as follow Leicester across Europe with my sons (how many opportunities will we have?)

“A big thank you to everyone at BT Sport, both in front of the camera and behind.

“You’re one hell of a team. It’s been a joy working with you. Well played.”

Lineker signed a new five-year deal with the BBC last year but hopes to spend more time with his four sons -George, 29, Harry, 27, Tobias, 25, and Angus, 23 – after leaving his BT Sport role.

His BT Sport colleagues were quick to pay tribute to the departing presenter after the news broke on Friday evening.

Pundit Rio Ferdinand tweeted: “Been an honour to share the stage with you! One more Last Dance (Until this summer).”

Commentator Darren Fletcher added: “It’s been a pleasure mate – we’ll miss u.”


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