Belfast Telegraph

Hansen to leave Match Of The Day

Alan Hansen has confirmed he is leaving Match Of The Day after 22 years.

The 58-year-old soccer pundit will step down from the panel of the BBC sports show following next summer's World Cup.

Former Liverpool captain Alan told telegraph.co.uk: "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.

"I've been in football for 41 years and I'm going out right at the top, just as I did at Liverpool. The plan was always that I would retire at 55. I kept going, but I finally decided to retire during Euro 2012.

"I have worked for a great organisation with wonderful people on the most fantastic programme."

The ex-footballer is reported to have previously rejected rival offers from Sky, ITV and even the chance to become manager of Manchester City to stay on Match Of The Day.

Alan will leave behind frontman Gary Lineker and regular pundits including Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage.

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