Sky sports legend draws in the crowds

by Lisa Bradley

Sky sports legend Jeff Stelling described journalism as a “fantastic life” and urged students to stick at it and work hard.

The presenter said he was impressed by the attitudes of students in the audience at Leeds Trinity University.

The anchor of Gillette Soccer Saturday was opening Journalism Week 2013 and told about 200 students: “Journalism is a fantastic life. Nothing is impossible, stick it out.”

He said he learned his trade in court reporting and said it was worth starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Mr Stelling also spoke about women in sport, and female sports journalists. “It’s tough, but easier than it used to be,” he said.”Paralympic and women’s sport coverage hasn’t changed much since London 2012 – it is a long process.”

He said the assumption used to be that as women hadn’t played the male sports being shown on TV, they couldn’t possibly know anything about it.

Responding to a question posted on Twitter about Sky presenters being more attractive than BBC presenters, he said reporters should be chosen on their skills rather than how they look.

He also told the audience: “A press officer’s role in football is not to ease communications been clubs and the media – it’s to prevent it!”

He claims he was “hopeless” at school – but always knew he wanted to be a journalist.

In his school report the young Jeff was described as weak as physics, disappointing in German, only fair in PE – and he came 28th out of 34 in class.

Mr Stelling said: “I was hopeless, going nowhere, but I always wanted to be a journalist. It was always my ambition.”

He said the secret of being a successful journalist was to put the work in, know your stuff, and be lucky.

Stelling new size

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