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Garth Crooks departs BBC Final Score for last time with heartfelt tribute

Tottenham and Stoke legend Garth Crooks is stepping down as a pundit on Final Score after working on BBC Sport’s flagship football results for more than two decades

Garth Crooks is stepping down as a pundit on Final Score

Popular pundit Garth Crooks made his final appearance on Final Score on Saturday afternoon.

The former Tottenham and Manchester United striker, 64, has worked as a pundit on BBC Sport’s flagship football result show for more than two decades. It’s unclear if he will continue working for the BBC – having first appeared as a pundit in the 1980s.

“It’s a very special day for us here on Final Score, but also a very sad day for us because Garth – it’s your final appearance on Final Score and as the presenter on this programme, I just want to say a big thank you,” Jason Mohammad announced on Saturday.

“For your friendship, your analysis, your fun, your laughter, your seriousness on the program – as well – I will really miss you. I’ll never forget in 2010, when I made my first appearance at TV center and you turned to Matty Holland and said, ‘Who’s this guy?’ I just want to say I big thank you, on behalf of myself and the production team.”

Crooks replied: “That’s very kind of you. Not just yourself, but your predecessors – Ray Stubbs, Gabby Logan – all done great jobs. I owe a great debt debt of gratitude to you and the BBC. It’s been great fun.”

One of Crooks’ biggest roles at BBC Sport is compiling Final Score’s Team of the Week – a huge talking point among fans on social media. Crooks’ team is often re-shared on websites across the world, such is the importance of his opinion of him.







Garth Crooks is leaving Final Score
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Image:

@BBCMOTD/Twitter)

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During his playing days, Crooks became the first black chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association in 1988 – a job he gave up two years later after retiring through injury. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to football.

Fans have paid tribute to Crooks on social media since the news of his departure broke. “Legend,” tweeted one supporter, while another wrote: “Nice chap, all the best Garth.”

Crooks has covered many big events for BBC Sport, including several World Cups, Euros and the London Olympics in 2012. He’s also made plenty of appearances on Match of the Day, sitting alongside the likes of Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer in the famous seats.

He’ll also be fondly remembered for his work on Football Focus, BBC Sport’s Saturday lunchtime football show. Alex Scott is currently the presenter of Football Focus having taken over from Dan Walker at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign.

Yet the pinnacle of Crooks’ media career will always be his work on Final Score, keeping fans up-to-date with results around the country. The show started in 1958 as part of Grandstand but became an individual program at the beginning of the 2001-02 season.

Crooks has been part of the team since that moment and sat alongside many notable figures during the past two decades. Final Score’s current pundits include Dion Dublin, Martin Keown, Jermaine Beckford, Stephen Warnock and Ashley Williams.

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