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Clive Tyldesley 'upset, annoyed and baffled' at decision to replace him as ITV’s lead commentator

He will be replaced by Sam Matterface at the start of next season, but will continue to work with the station.

ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley.
ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley.
Image: PA

Updated Jul 14th 2020, 3:00 PM

CLIVE TYLDESLEY IS being replaced as ITV’s lead commentator after 22 years in the position.

Tyledsley, who joined from the BBC in 1996, will be replaced by Sam Matterface at the start of next season, but will continue to work with the station.

“If you haven’t seen the announcement I am being replaced as ITV’s senior football commentator,” Tyldesley said in a video posted to his Twitter page.

“Quite a few people have been in touch with me asking me to react, to comment. I’m not sure that would be a very good idea at the moment.

“I was told about three weeks ago so I have had some time to get my head around the decision, but I haven’t got my head around it. To be clear, this is ITV’s decision, not mine, and I’m upset, annoyed, baffled.”

Director of ITV Sport Nial Sloane said: “On behalf of ITV Sport, I would like to thank Clive for his superb work leading our commentary on some of the biggest occasions in world football throughout his outstanding career with us.

“We are very glad he will continue with us and look forward to working with him on many more occasions in the future.”

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The 65-year-old switched channels in 1996 as he joined to be Brian Moore’s understudy, but got the main job after the 1998 World Cup.

He has narrated some of the most memorable moments of the last 25 years, including ‘that night in Barcelona’ when Manchester United won the Champions League and England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Matterface, who is already part of ITV’s commentary stable, will step up to the main position, also keeping his role as radio station talkSPORT’s chief commentator. 

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