Motson leads tributes to Gubba

11 March 2013 05:17

John Motson led the tributes to his fellow commentator and sports presenter Tony Gubba, who has died following a short illness at the age of 69.

Motson hailed Gubba, with whom he shared much of his career at the BBC, as "one of the original probing reporters".

Motson said: "Tony was a great friend and colleague for over 40 years and I shall miss him greatly. He was one of the original probing reporters - never afraid to ask a difficult question."

Having spent time as the Daily Mirror's north of England correspondent, Gubba joined BBC Sport in 1972 replacing David Coleman as the presenter of the midweek sports programme 'Sportsnight'.

He later went on to work on Match of the Day, both as commentator and front man, and to introduce Grandstand as a stand-in for Frank Bough. In addition to football, Gubba was a sports all-rounder who commentated on hockey, table tennis, golf, tennis, bobsleigh, ski-jumping, darts and ice-skating for the BBC.

He also covered every Olympic Games, both summer and winter, from 1972 to 2012 and every World Cup from 1974 to 2006. More recently, he worked as a commentator on ITV series Dancing On Ice following its launch in 2006.

The BBC said in a statement: "Tony was an outstanding sports journalist and a formidable broadcaster, whose death will sadden everyone at BBC Sport.

"As well as working on Winter and Summer Olympics since 1972, and being a Match of the Day regular for over 30 years, Tony worked on a huge range of sports during his time at the BBC, always displaying his trademark tenacious, single minded approach.

"For a generation he was one of the most familiar and respected names in sports broadcasting. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and closest friends."

He leaves his partner of 15 years, Jenny, his two daughters, Claire, 40 and Libby, 38 and three granddaughters.

Source: PA

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