Our Football team
Ray Stubbs has enjoyed a varied career. He was initially a professional footballer, leaving school to join Tranmere Rovers FC, where he played for five years.
In 1986, Ray moved to BBC Manchester as an assistant producer, working on various sports coverage including snooker, darts and bowls, and the iconic quiz programme, A Question Of Sport.
He also worked as a producer, reporter and presenter on BBC TWO’s investigative sports series On The Line, which took him to Italy in 1990 to report on England football fans at the World Cup.
Later that year, Stubbs began working as a reporter on Grandstand, Match Of The Day and Sportsnight. He reported from the Irish camp during the 1994 World Cup in America, and was the BBC’s reporter-in-residence in the England camp during Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup in France. Ray co-hosted coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics, co-presented coverage of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and also reported for BBC ONE’s On Side. He also presented Match of the Day as part of the BBC’s 2006 World Cup coverage.
Ray was the regular host of BBC’s Final Score and was the presenter of the BBC’s darts and snooker coverage. Stubbs was part of the Grandstand presentation team and took over as the regular presenter of Football Focus from Gary Lineker in 1999 as well as being an occasional presenter of Match Of The Day.
Ray has been a big supporter of Sport Relief and has become the project’s action hero. In 2002, he was dropped 100 feet into a pile of boxes; in 2004, he was suspended from a crane, and swung into a giant ball of dung; and, in 2006, was tied to a post and bombarded by 15,000 bouncy balls.
In 2007, Ray took part in Comic Relief does Fame Academy, and made it to the last five, before being struck down by an upper respiratory tract infection. Despite his illness, he still performed twice on the night, before being voted out by three of his fellow students so he could go home and recover. Stubbs also takes part in the Great North Run each year for charity, and is an honorary member of Gateshead Harriers.
Euro 2008 was the 10th international tournament that Ray presented for the BBC.
In July 2009, Ray Stubbs signed a multi-year deal with ESPN, the world’s biggest sports broadcaster, he anchored its coverage of the Barclays Premier League 2009/10 season and presented ESPN’s daily World Cup update show, South Africa Nightly, live each night from Johannesburg.
This season he will present ESPN’s coverage of the Barclays Premier League and its newly acquired rights to the FA Cup as well as the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and UEFA Europa League matches.
Jon Champion is a hugely respected sports commentator with over twenty years broadcasting experience, the majority spent as a senior figure with the BBC and ITV.
Jon’s CV includes regular coverage of the Barlcays Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup. He has covered six FIFA World Cups whilst beyond football he has commentated at three Olympic Games plus World Cups in cricket, rugby league and rugby union
Champion is also the commentator for one of the world’s most popular computer games, ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’, and has recently recorded the soundtrack for the 2011 edition in tandem with ITV pundit Jim Beglin.
In July 2010, ESPN announced that Champion would be the lead commentator for its Barclays Premier League and UEFA Europa League coverage and from November 2010 Jon will commentate on ESPN’s exclusively live coverage of 25 FA Cup games over the 2010/11 season.
Rebecca made her break into broadcasting by winning the 2002 BBC Talent Search for a football reporter, from a field of 650 candidates.
Lowe went on to report from a top Premiership match every Saturday for Final Score, was regularly a reporter on interviews and features for Football Focus, and was the presenter of a “Football in the Community” feature every Sunday morning on Match of the Day. She has also been a regular contributor to BBC Television’s Match of the Day 2.
In addition, she was a main sports presenter on BBC News 24 and BBC Breakfast as well as a Sports News Broadcaster on BBC Radio Five Live, Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast, Radio 2 and 4.
Lowe reported for BBC Two at the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. In 2005 she worked as BBC One’s England team reporter at the Women’s European Championship in Manchester. She also performed the role of pitchside reporter at the FA Women’s Cup Final from 2003 to 2007 which was shown live on BBC One. Lowe was also a main BBC One reporter at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
On 28 June 2007 it was announced that Lowe would leave the BBC to join Setanta Sports as a football presenter and reporter during which time she hosted Setanta’s coverage of the Football Conference as well as reporting on the Premier League and co-presenting the Premier League studio show, Football Matters.
In July 2009 ESPN announced that Rebecca Lowe would be joining Ray Stubbs to co-host their live broadcast of live Premier League matches. Rebecca also presents ESPN’s Between The Lines alongside Ray.
As a player, Keegan won a host of individual and team honours, making a total 592 club appearances for the likes of Liverpool and Hamburg, scoring 204 goals
He started his career at Scunthorpe United before earning a move to Liverpool in 1971, where he would win the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, First Division title and European Cup in a six year spell
Keegan moved to Hamburg in 1977 and during his stay he was named European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979 as he helped his club win the Bundesliga title and reach the final of the European Cup
He made 63 appearances for England, scoring 21 times and captained the side from 1976 until his international retirement in 1982
Keegan’s managerial career has seen him take charge of England, as well as several clubs, gaining promotion to the Premier League with Newcastle United and Manchester City, and taking Fulham from the Second to the First Division
ESPN announced the signing of Keegan as its lead analyst in August 2009
Keegan attended the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as an in-studio analyst for ITV.
As a player, Waddle played for a selection of top flight clubs as well as for England. Starting his career at Newcastle in 1980, Waddle helped the side win promotion to the First Division alongside teammates Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley
Waddle moved to Tottenham in 1985, where he was an instant success, helping the team to a third place finish in the First Division and an FA Cup final appearance.
He moved to Olympique Marseille in 1989, becoming an integral part of the star-studded side that won the French Championship three years in a row and reach the European Cup Final. His performances saw Marseille fans vote him the club’s second best player of all time.
Waddle returned to England to join Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 1992, and in the following season the club were finalists in both the League Cup and FA Cup. Waddle was voted 1993 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year
Waddle earned 62 caps for England, playing at two World Cups and one European Championship, scoring six goals.
Craig Burley is a Scottish former international, who played for clubs including Chelsea, Celtic and Derby County.
Burley started his career with Chelsea and become a key player for Player-Manager Glenn Hoddle and later Ruud Gullit. Burley won his first medal in 1997, as part of the Chelsea team that beat Middlesbrough 2–0 in the 1997 FA Cup Final.
In 1997, he signed for Celtic, becoming one of Wim Jansen’s first signings at the club. He scored 13 goals and was part of the Celtic team that ended Rangers’ run of consecutive league titles in the 1997–98 season.
Burley played for Scotland in the 1998 World Cup in France and scored in the 1–1 draw with Norway in the second match of the tournament.
Burley is currently an analyst for ESPN.