Football - Legendary broadcaster Tony Gubba dies at 69

Veteran sports commentator Tony Gubba has died at the age of 69.

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Football - Legendary broadcaster Tony Gubba dies at 69
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Tony Gubba

Gubba spent decades working as a commentator with the BBC, but recently found new fame as the voice of ITV's Dancing on Ice.

He passed away following a short illness.

The Manchester-born commentator went to school in Blackpool and then started out in local papers before getting a job with the Daily Mirror. He then moved to the BBC in 1972 where he worked as a commentator and presenter on shows including Match of the Day, Grandstand and Sportsnight.

Though football made up the bulk of his work, he was an all-rounder who also commentated on sports including hockey, table tennis, golf, darts, ski jumping and of course ice skating.

He also commentated on every Olympic Games from 1972 to 2012 and every World Cup from 1974 to 2006.

In recent years it was his work on Dancing on Ice which made him famous, however. He was originally recommended for the job by Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean - who he commentated on during their glory years in the 1980s - but turned the job down twice before accepting.

He never looked back after that, calling the show, "the most fun programme I’ve ever worked on."

John 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."

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.

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