Simon Thomas is undoubtedly one of the names being tossed around to replace Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports’ Football Saturday.
The former Blue Peter presenter, who tragically misplaced his spouse in 2017, is in the picture, although Sky bosses insist no choice has been made.
Thomas retired from full-time work at the company after his partner Gemma died suddenly six years ago, just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
After 18 years with the company, Thomas took a day off from work to look after his eight-year-old son, leaving Sky where he was previously head of football.
He now freelances on many platforms, but hopes to return to full-time work in the near future.
Simon Thomas is undoubtedly one of the names being tossed around to succeed Jeff Stelling
Stelling quit Football Saturday after more than 25 years at the helm of Sky Sports
The 50-year-old posted on LinkedIn earlier this 12 months, saying: “I was technically a freelancer for a few years, but I wasn’t really.
“For about 18 years at the BBC with Blue Peter, then Sky Sports, I had contracts of one, two and even three years. Those contracts have been absolute gold dust for the broadcaster. I used to be extremely lucky.
“I had financial security, I could plan, save money for vacations, pay pensions and rainy day funds.
“Almost five years later, deep down I still know it was the right decision; but as I am slowly trying to rebuild my career; it left me in the strange new world of being a true freelancer
“This world where you feel busy and fulfilled with a full work schedule for one minute, only to turn the page and see blank weeks ahead and feel a sense of unsettling emptiness.
“I quickly learned that freelance on-air work is not for the faint of heart. One minute you feel on top of the world, questioning the way you fit it all in; then you really feel that restless anxiety about where the future effectiveness will come from. Will the wet day fund run out?
Part of me loves the thrill of the unknown; not understanding what might happen next; however, perhaps a better part of me longs for a return to the days of an honest security diploma.
Thomas misplaced his partner just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia