is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Tony
Gubba aged 69, following a short illness. Our thoughts
are with his family. RIP Tony x" NMP Live.
Gubba has been one of the faces and voices of British television
sport for over 35 years.
In one of the longest careers in sports broadcasting he’s
presented prime-time BBC programmes like ‘Grandstand’
and ‘Sportsnight’ and now commentates on Premiership
football for ‘Match of the Day’ and also describes the
celebrity skating in ITV’s top-rated show ‘Dancing on
Tony Gubba's voice is familiar to millions of Saturday night armchair
Born in Manchester, Tony Gubba worked as a national newspaper journalist
before joining Southern Television in Southampton as a reporter/newscaster.
In 1969 he became the BBC’s North of England correspondent,
based in Liverpool.
In 1972 Tony was chosen to replace David Coleman as the presenter
of ‘Sportsnight’ and later went on to introduce ‘Grandstand’
with Frank Bough and also ‘Match of the Day’ –
one of only a handful of TV personalities to have fronted that trio
of major BBC programmes.
Tony has worked on every football World Cup since Germany in 1974
– nine in all – and completed the circle when he provided
a nightly commentary on games from the 2006 tournament in Germany
that was shown on the in-flight entertainment channels of many of
the world’s leading airlines.
He’s also attended almost all the Olympic Games - summer and
winter - since Munich in 1972.
In his time, Tony Gubba has commentated on ice-skating, hockey,
table-tennis, bobsleigh, ski-jumping, speed skating, cycling, rowing,
judo, golf and tennis, as well as being a regular voice on ‘Match
of the Day’ for almost three decades.
When Olympic and World ice dance champions Jane Torville and Christopher
Dean were invited by ITV to train ten celebrities in an ice dancing
competition, they asked that Tony Gubba should be the commentator.
His amusing appraisals of celebrity skaters learning to ice dance
have become a popular part of the programme which attracts audiences
of 12 million and which returned for a fourth series in January
On Ulrika Jonsson: “She says she’s fitter now than
when she was 21. Most blokes think you’ve always been fit
On playboy ex-footballer Lee Sharpe: “He’s not normally
this active before midnight”
On rugby star Keiran Bracken: “He skates like Benny Hill
chasing a chorus girl”
Tony Gubba is an accomplished after-dinner speaker and a relaxed
communicator who can work off-the-cuff in front of a live audience
or front-up an important product launch to senior executives.
On a personal level, he was educated at Blackpool Grammar School
and now lives near Henley, in Berks, with his partner Jenny.
He was once an amateur footballer and his hobbies now are golf and
salmon fishing. He is well known as a writer of articles about fly-fishing
and travel. Not so well known is that Tony was once a student at
a Northern music college with thoughts of becoming an operatic tenor!
Tony Gubba has been known to provide the vocal entertainment at
the annual ‘Match of the Day’ Christmas party and serenade
his colleagues with songs from WestEnd shows.