Soccer AM brings the curtain down on popular Saturday morning show after almost 30 years


Soccer AM ran its final ever show on Saturday after it was cancelled following 28 years on screens.

In a programme filled with iconic segments, stern expletives and audio issues, Mark Fendley and Jimmy Bullard waved goodbye as they celebrated nearly three decades worth of memories.

Stormzy, Jack Whitehall and Stephen Graham joined Bullard – who admitted he was nervous at the start of the programme – and ‘Fenners’ on the show, with Tubes, branded ‘Mr Soccer AM’ by Fendley, interviewing Premier League title winning captain Ilkay Gundogan.

‘A very warm welcome to the last Soccer AM of the season and the last ever,’ Fendley said as the show began. ’28 years of madness comes to an end.’

He then joked the show had blown their remaining budget on the three guests, as comedian Whitehall admitted: ‘I love this show so much, I watched it growing up and it’s so fun to be here to celebrate the last show.’

Jimmy Bullard (second left) hosted the final ever Soccer AM show on Saturday after 28 years (Credit: Sky Sports Main Event)

Jimmy Bullard (second left) hosted the final ever Soccer AM show on Saturday after 28 years (Credit: Sky Sports Main Event)

There were a host of hilarious moments from the guests - such as comedian Jack Whitehall (second right) and Stormzy (left) - as the show aired for the final time

There were a host of hilarious moments from the guests – such as comedian Jack Whitehall (second right) and Stormzy (left) – as the show aired for the final time  

Both Graham and Whitehall wore ice packs with it explained they had picked up injuries in the rehearsal for the show, with Graham failing to participate in any of the live challenges.

The group, following several cuts for Whitehall’s swearing during the opening segment, moved out to the John Arne Riise Arena Arena for one of the final challenges, with more iconic clips from the show’s history shown.

‘We are outside in the Riise for one final edition of You Know The Drill Live,’ Fendley began. ‘Some venue, many a goal has been scored, many a goal has been kicked and many a ball has been lost at £30 a pop. Plenty of memories made it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite.’

The did anyway, with clips shown of Bullard hitting the ‘top bin’ and Serge Pizzorno’s iconic volley.

What followed was Stormzy fluffing his lines in the volley challenge – though he did net a penalty to win Cheltenham fans £400 – before Whitehall shot off to perform a stand-up tour in Swansea.

A tribute was also paid to Tubes, real name Peter Dale, with his mum in the audience, as the veteran showed his emotions during his ‘One Question Only’ segment. 

Bullard admitted one of his favourite moments included Fenners playing Barry as another clip was shown, with the former Hull midfielder telling his co-host: ‘You are so good, I don’t want to send you off.’ 

The atmosphere was at times awkward, with Fendley’s audio dying towards the end of the show, as the presenters tried to keep morale high after Mail Sport revealed the show was being axed.

The final half hour of the show was delayed as the programme returned from a break to Fenners’ mic still not working, with the producer heard live on air as the presenter moved away from his seat and the live feed was cut.

There was still time for Graham to dish out his own expletives after messing up his ‘Shocker Saturday’ spot before Bullard and Fendley gave their final speeches.

‘I want to thank everyone at Sky for giving me an opportunity,’ Bullard said. ‘There are so many people to thank. Most of all John Boy. Without you this doesn’t exist. You are the b****** son, I love you.’

Fendley added: ’28 years, over 1,000 shows. Soccer AM has changed my life, I know it’s had an impact on many of yours. I’ve been privileged to have been a part of this odd, underdog TV show, the like of which we will probably never see again.

‘Some people didn’t and still don’t get it. Those of you that did and do, thanks for sticking with us. I’d like to thank Tim (Lovejoy), without Tim, Soccer AM wouldn’t have made it. He was ahead of his time and I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me.

‘The star of the show for many years was Helen Chamberlain, one of the best football presenters, male or female, to ever do it. She was a natural and a pioneer and one of the main reasons the show became such a success. 

‘To all of the people I’ve worked alongside, you’ve all played your part. Thank you to the guests, football clubs, the current team, but most of all, thank you for your support.’

Tim Lovejoy (left) and Helen Chamberlain (right) were closely-linked with the show that started back in 1995

Tim Lovejoy (left) and Helen Chamberlain (right) were closely-linked with the show that started back in 1995

'Tubes' interviewed Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan on the final ever show

‘Tubes’ interviewed Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan on the final ever show

Created in 1995 on the back of the mid-90s music and football boom, Soccer AM combined the pair and kick-started the careers of a number of bands.

Features, including car park and crossbar challenges, captured the imagination while it was also responsible for a campaign to introduce a gold star to England’s shirt to recognise the 1966 World Cup win.

The two presenters most closely-linked to the show, Lovejoy and Chamberlain, left in 2007 and 2017 respectively. Its final hosts were Fendley and former Wigan, Fulham and Peterborough playmaker Bullard.

Sky Sports Managing Director Jonathan Licht said: ‘We’d like to thank the Soccer AM team for their professionalism during a difficult period. We would also like to thank them, and all their former colleagues, for their contribution to Sky Sports over three amazing decades.’



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More