'Bob changed sports broadcasting forever' - Tributes pour in for former Sheffield sports broadcaster Bob Jackson

Touching tributes continue to flood in for former BBC Radio Sheffield sports producer Bob Jackson who launched the first-ever football phone-in.

By Sam Cooper
Saturday, 13 July, 2019, 14:59

Bob, who invented the original phone-in Praise or Grumble, died suddenly at his Tinsley home at the age of 88.

Former BBC Radio Sheffield sports reporter Seth Bennett, now a reporter at producer for BBC World Service, said: “As a seven-year-old I remember listening to Bob Jackson on BBC Radio Sheffield as he darted around the grounds, interviewed Brendan Ingle as his crop of young guns, seemed to have an endless knowledge of South Yorkshire sport.

“At 4.45pm he would play his military march to bring some luck to the local teams, before launching into the iconic Praise or Grumble.

“Listening to Bob on a Saturday gave me a love for listening to sport on the radio and inspired me to want to be a broadcaster. He had great skill in how he moved between the callers keeping them brief and irrespective of the nature of the call, it was done with humour.

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“When I got older I met Bob. I was the latest young whippersnapper but he spent time with me talking about local sport and broadcasting and what he thought of me.The feedback was always direct,helpful and friendly.

Bob Jackson

“Bob is someone who changed sports broadcasting forever when he invented Praise or Grumble and whilst he may not have liked the negative aspect of modern sports phone ins, he always listened.

“As a listener Bob’s voice had me with him on whatever journey he was on.

He added: “RIP Bob. Thank you for sharing your love of sport and broadcasting with me. Thank you for your support and kind words latterly.”