TV presenter Jeff Stelling says he has been given his dream role as he has been made honorary president at his beloved Hartlepool United.
The Hartlepool-born Sky Sports is one of the town’s biggest fans and is regularly seen by millions of viewers singing the praises of Hartlepool and his hometown club.
Pools say Jeff has proved to be a fine ambassador for the club over a number of years after growing up in the town as a Pools fan and reporting from The Vic before his big break with Sky Sports.
As presenter of the ever-popular Soccer Saturday, Jeff has helped put Hartlepool on the map and fans up and down the country now enjoy seeing his reactions as the latest scores arrive from The Vic.
Club chiefs say as well as being proud of his Hartlepool roots, he has often shown his loyalty to the North-East as a whole and it was felt he was the perfect choice as the club’s new honorary president.
When I was standing on the terraces as a seven-year-old I never dreamt that one day the Club would ask me to be honorary president.Jeff Stelling
Jeff, a former Rift House Primary School and West Hartlepool Grammar School pupil, was made a Freeman of Hartlepool in 2010, alonside the outgoing honorary president of the club, the former Hartlepool MP and cabinet minister Peter Mandelson.
Dad of three Jeff, 60, said: “When I was standing on the terraces as a seven-year-old I never dreamt that one day the Club would ask me to be Honorary President.
“It’s sort of an impossible dream really but it’s fantastic and I really appreciate the fact that Russ and the chairman have offered it to me – I am very grateful indeed.
“I was at the recent game with Wycombe with a lot of my family and they’re all just as pleased and as proud as I am about the news.”
The club’s chief executive Russ Green said: “Jeff is the highest-profile Pools fan ever and he’s the only person for the job.
“His name is synonymous with Hartlepool and he is held in high esteem by everyone in football so we’re very proud that he has accepted this role at the club.”
The club would like to thank outgoing Honorary President Peter Mandelson for his time spent in the role.