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Elton Welsby

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Elton Welsby

Roger Elton Welsby (born 28 May 1951, St Helens, Lancashire) is an English television sports presenter.


  • The ITV years 1
  • Other work 2
  • Cultural references 3
  • References 4

The ITV years

Welsby began his broadcasting career on Liverpool radio station Radio City as a sports reporter and commentator.[1] In January 1978 he joined Granada Television, working on its football programme The Kick Off Match and presented its 1980s successor Match Night until its demise in 1983. When Granada revived Kick Off in 1989, Welsby returned as presenter.

He was one of the anchors of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the last Olympic Games to be covered by the network, and also presented the Saturday afternoon Results Service from the late 1980s onwards.

At the start of the 1988-89 season, ITV began broadcasting exclusive live coverage of the Football League. It was the task of future BBC Director-General Greg Dyke to oversee the coverage and he entrusted Welsby as presenter of The Match, anchoring numerous dramatic matches over the next four years-most notably Arsenal's 2-0 win against Liverpool in the last game of the season which saw the Gunners snatch a last minute winner at Anfield.

The loss of top flight football to Sky Sports in 1992 hit ITV Sport hard, and Welsby's final work as ITV's lead Football presenter was at the 1992 European Championships. He was absent from the network's coverage of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, which saw newcomer Matthew Lorenzo do much of the presenting, and the imminent arrival of Bob Wilson pushed Welsby further down the football presenting pecking order on ITV. Despite these apparent setbacks, Welsby managed to consistently out perform fellow anchor Jim Rosenthal in 'best of' polls conducted in the Manchester area.

Welsby continued to present regional sports programming for Granada Television until May 2000 when the station decided not to renew his contract. No explanation was given for the decision.

Welsby has occasionally returned as a guest on the Granada Soccer Night programme, and in 2001 he returned to radio to present Elton Welsby's Soccer Saturday for North-West regional station Century FM - a role he held for three years.

Other work

Welsby was the final presenter of British gameshow Busman's Holiday following on from Julian Pettifer and Sarah Kennedy.[2][3] He is regularly involved in corporate and charity work, and is known for his close association with the Zoe's Place children's hospice.[4]

Welsby is nowadays rarely involved in sports presenting, although he has recently been seen presenting Crown Green Bowls for Sky Sports.[5] Welsby has toured the country with Ricky Tomlinson in the theatre tour, An Evening with Ricky Tomlinson, where he interviews Tomlinson in character as Jim Royle.

Cultural references

Welsby is name-checked by the Birkenhead band Half Man Half Biscuit in the song "A Country Practice", found on their 1998 album Four Lads Who Shook the Wirral.[6]

Welsby is referred to in Episode 4 of the BBC Radio 4 show "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge", where fictional impressionist Steve Thompson mockingly calls presenter Alan Partridge "the non-thinking man's Elton Welsby".


  1. ^ Barham, Kathy (2006) 194 Radio City - The Heart of Liverpool,, ISBN 978-1-4116-8814-8, p. 99
  2. ^ Plunkett, John (2002) "University Challenge turns pro", The Guardian (London), 21 November 2002, retrieved 1 January 2011
  3. ^ "Busman’s Holiday". Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Elton goes into the red.". The Free Library By Farlex. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "World famous green woos back cameras", Blackpool Gazette, 17 September 2005, retrieved 1 January 2011
  6. ^ "Half Man Half Biscuit - A Country Practice Lyrics". SongLyrics. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
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