Sports stars bid farewell to Sheffield's voice of football

The great and good of the sporting world gathered to pay their last respects to Sheffield’s voice of football, who launched the game’s original phone-in.

By Robert Cumber
Thursday, 08 August, 2019, 15:09

Bob Jackson, a popular sports reporter and producer at BBC Radio Sheffield between 1972 and 1992, is probably best known as the man behind Praise or Grumble, which gave football fans the chance to deliver their verdict on air after the final whistle.

His contribution to the world of sport in Sheffield and South Yorkshire was recognised as stars including former Sheffield United player Ted Hemsley, Sheffield Eagles head coach Mark Aston and former Premier League referee Uriah Rennie attended his funeral at Sheffield Cathedral today.

Bob Jackson's funeral at Sheffield Cathedral

Renowned fundraiser John Burkhill, better known as the Man with the Pram; Former sports minister Richard Caborn and Sheffield Council leader were among the other big names who turned out for his final send-off.

Bob, who grew up in Sheffield and worked as a town hall clerk, teacher and market trader before getting into radio, died suddenly at his Totley home last month, aged 88.

The great-grandfather started out in hospital radio before moving to BBC Radio Sheffield, where he was the regular reporter covering Rotherham United and then became a full-time sports producer.

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He was a long-serving chairman of the Sheffield Marathon organising committee, a key figure at Millhouses Bowling Club and sat as a chairman on the Sheffield Magistrates’ bench, among his many responsibilities.

Bob Jackson

His family described him as a ‘force of nature’, while former Radio Hallam sports editor Alan Biggs praised him as a man with a distinctive style who ‘believed in what was best for sport’.

Bob Jackson's widow Mary leads the famiy into Sheffield Cathedral
Former Premier League referee Uriah Rennie at Bob Jackson's funeral
Sheffield Eagles head coach Mark Aston at Bob Jackson's funeral
Bob Jackson's widow Mary at his funeral