Mike Dean will also join the programme to give a referee’s view

Simon Thomas Sky Sports

Simon Thomas will present Sky Sports Soccer Saturday this season, taking over from long time host Jeff Stelling.

Stelling left the broadcaster at the end of last season after over 25 years, having already stayed for an extra year following a u-turn on his original retirement. Other fomrer regular pundits Jeff Thompson, Charlie Nicholas, and Matt Le Tissier have also left the show in recent years. 

Thomas takes over having worked with Sky Sports since 2005, first on Sky Sports News and later fronting Premier League and EFL coverage. He’s also stepped in for Stelling on a number of occasions over the last year, after leaving Sky in 2018 following the tragic death of his wife.

In addition to Thomas’ arrival, former Premier League referee Mike Dean is also joining the show. Dean retired from officiating in 2022, and will use his 27 years’ experience to offer analysis and comment on decisions made around the country.

Soccer Saturday will be broadcast from a new studio this season, and Thomas is set to be joined by pundits such as Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Michael Dawson, Sue Smith, Kris Boyd and Tim Sherwood. Julian Warren will continue in his role presenting Gillette Soccer Special for mid-week matches.

Thomas said: “When I left Sky in 2018 for very personal reasons; it was always said the door would be open if I ever wanted to return. I never expected that Gillette Soccer Saturday would be the door that would open.

“Being asked to present this iconic show and follow in the footsteps of Jeff Stelling, an absolute giant of sports broadcasting, is a massive honour and one I simply cannot wait to get started on.”

Dean said: “It feels a bit surreal to be a part of such a well-loved show, but I can’t wait to join the team. With all the technology available in today’s game, I think it’s crucial that fans understand why decisions have been made, even if they don’t agree with them!”

Sky Sports director of football Gary Hughes added: “Simon left Sky at the top of his profession as a Premier League presenter, delivering the biggest games to big audiences. It’s brilliant to have someone with his experience and credibility back on the team to take Gillette Soccer Saturday into a new era.

“We’re also delighted to welcome Mike to Sky Sports. He was one of the game’s most well-known and well-liked referees. In his role he’ll be explaining the big calls and decisions from his unique perspective, providing fans of Gillette Soccer Saturday and our Premier League coverage with greater analysis, insight and understanding.”