Tony Gubba, the Dancing on Ice commentator previously known as one of the voices of BBC Sport, has died at the age of 69, after a short illness.
Gubba worked as a newspaper journalist before joining Southern Television as a reporter and newscaster. In 1969 joined the BBC, and in 1972 he replaced David Coleman as the presenter of Sportsnight. He went on to present both Grandstand and Match of the Day.
In the 1970s and 80s Gubba was, along with John Motson and Barry Davies, one of the BBC’s most recognisable football commentators, although he also covered a wide variety of other sports, including ice skating.
His skating knowledge saw him reach a new audience in 2006 when, at Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s suggestion, he was hired as the commentator of ITV’s celebrity talent show Dancing on Ice.
Gubba commentated on every episode of Dancing on Ice until a few weeks ago, when he became absent through ill health.
Dancing on Ice presenter Phillip Schofield said: “We were all aware how poorly he was, but this is very sudden and is a dreadful to everyone who knew and loved him. A genuinely delightful, kind, dedicated and talented man… I’m so glad I had the privilege of working with him and getting to know him.”
Match of the Day presenter and former England footballer Gary Lineker said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Gubba, whom he described as “one of the great voices of football”.
Gubba covered every football World Cup between 1974 and 2006, and every Olympic Games from 1972 to 2012.
Here’s a classic bit of Gubba commentary on Dancing on Ice, as Todd Carty careers off the rink in 2009…