Alan Hansen is to retire as the BBC’s leading pundit after the 2014 World Cup. Having been a central figure in the BBC’s football coverage since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the former Liverpool captain will not pursue a new contract to remain on Match of the Day when his deal expires in July.
Having shelved plans to quit three years ago, the 58-year-old told the Daily Telegraph: “I’m retiring from Match of the Day at the end of the season. I will have been there for 22 years and will be 59, so it’s the right time for me.
“The guys at the BBC know me and I said: ‘Look, this is categorical. I’m leaving and nothing will make me change my mind.’ I am contracted to do the World Cup and I will do that as it will be a good way to go out, but I have had a great run”
The former centre-half said he rejected the chance to manage Manchester City when Brian Horton was sacked in 1995 and also turned down an approach from Sky. “They came in for mewhen Andy Gray nearly left to take the Everton job, almost 20 years ago,” he said. “I was under contract at the BBC, so turned it down, but there were four occasions after that when I had big offers from ITV.
“They came to me in 2006, just before I signed the biggest contract of my life at the BBC, and offered me fortunes. I was absolutely amazed by what they offered me, but I just felt I had been looked after by the BBC.”
© Guardian News & Media Limited 2013