In the mid-2000s, there was not a football fan in the country that would not wake up on a Saturday morning and put Soccer AM on the television. It was the perfect start to a matchday.
After beginning in 1995, the show gained a cult following as it brought Premier League footballers, Hollywood A-listers and regular supporters together to form a chaotic and hilarious programme each week.
Viewing figures have dropped in recent years, but the show continues to run and is currently presented by John ‘Fenners’ Fendley and Jimmy Bullard.
But what are some of Soccer AM’s most memorable stars up to now?
Having started out as an assistant producer on Soccer AM, Peter Dale first appeared in front of the cameras as ‘Peter the Test Tube Baby’, earning him the nickname Tubes.
He quickly became one of the most popular characters on the show, with his ‘one question and one question only’ segment, which was often preceded by a comic rap.
Tubes still works on Soccer AM now and is one of the most iconic names associated with the programme.
Most weeks he can be found interviewing some of football’s top stars, while also getting Premier League legends on his golfing YouTube channel.
Dale was known on the show for his binge drinking habits, and on New Year’s Day 2018 shared an emotional Instagram post admitting he was an alcoholic and that he was getting the help that he needed.
Later that month, he suffered a major heart attack and spent time away from Soccer AM to recover.
Like Tubes, Rocket (real name James Long) was originally a producer on the programme after taking part in work experience with the crew as a 15-year-old.
He gradually gained more screen time and was soon instantly recognisable with segments such as Skill Skool – featuring teenagers Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling among others – and Small Talk. Rocket was also a six-time winner of the Soccer AM Dance Off.
After 19 years working on the show, Rocket left in 2017 and joined media outlet JOE as Head of Sports Production.
However the company went into administration last year, meaning Long lost his job and he now works for Snack Media as a producer and presenter.
“It was organised chaos, a bit of carnage,” Long said of Soccer AM last year. “The camera’s whipping round, and you never know what you’re going to see next.”
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Baby Elvis was the guise that Adam Smith first appeared on Soccer AM as, with the former show runner dressing as ‘The King’ for various elements on the programme.
Smith went on to portray Frankie Fryer, the Danny Dyer rip off who presented the ‘Away Days’ segment where he would visit football grounds in the UK and abroad and give an overview of the city in true cockney style.
Smith also stepped up to front the main show on occasions if regular presenters were ill, but left Soccer AM in 2015.
He still works Sky Sports on programmes such as Goals on Sunday, Saturday Social and The Debate, while he also presents radio for talkSPORT and has worked with the England team and Tottenham Hotspur.
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Knox joined the production team of Soccer AM in 2000 and like many of his colleagues progressed to appearing on camera and was involved in multiple segments.
Every time his name was mentioned, “TRAMP!” would be sung to the tune of The Champ by The Mohawks.
Knox left the show following the departure of Tim Lovejoy in 2007 and created his own production company called Dry Lunch Productions.
Alongside running that business, he creates content on YouTube and Twitch and is a co-host on Jaackmaate’s Happy Hour podcast.
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A former Bluecoat at Pontins, Chamberlain got her first presenting gig at Nickelodeon before being chosen to be one of Soccer AM’s first presenters when it began airing in 1995.
The show made the Torquay United supporter a household name and she was the face that viewers would see every Saturday morning for 22 years before she left in 2017 – making her the longest-serving presenter in Soccer AM history. Many fans would argue that the programme has not been the same without her.
Chamberlain appears to have taken a step away from television, telling The Athletic last year: “I spent nearly half of my life sitting on that sofa.
“I was there for nearly 23 years. That’s a long time to have any job never mind a job in broadcasting.
“I had the farm to see to. I wanted to rescue more dogs and breed sheep and chickens. So I didn’t have time for Saturday mornings anymore.”
Lovejoy was a producer for Big Breakfast before he made the move to present Soccer AM in 1996.
Like Chamberlain, the show catapulted his career over the next decade and he is perhaps the best-known name associated with the show along with his female co-host.
As an executive producer in addition to his presenting role, Lovejoy was the driving force behind the programme – described as ‘the king’ by his colleagues.
He left in 2007 due to disagreements over pay for producers and created internet television channel Channel Bee with TV producer Simon Fuller, taking many of his Soccer AM colleagues with him.
However it failed to take off, with Lovejoy suggesting last year that “we were just too ahead of our time”.
Lovejoy also began presenting Sunday morning cookery programme Something for the Weekend on BBC 2. The show was taken off air in 2012 but Lovejoy and co-host Simon Rimmer instantly began fronting an identical show on Channel 4, Sunday Brunch, which continues to run now.
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The man to take over from Lovejoy was Andy Goldstein, but he lasted just a year in the role before Max Rushden was given the gig alongside Chamberlain in 2008.
An Oxford University graduate, Rushden had been sacked from his breakfast show on BBC London a few months earlier and was presenting current affairs for talkSPORT.
Rushden left Soccer AM in 2015, but continued working for Sky fronting The Fantasy Football Club.
Now he presents The Warm Up on talkSPORT every Sunday morning alongside Barry Glendenning and succeeded James Richardson as host of The Guardian Football Weekly podcast.
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After working behind the scenes on Sky’s coverage of Spanish football, Lisa Hebden joined the Soccer AM team in 2007.
The path from producer to appearing on screen was well trodden by that point, and Hebden became popular with viewers as the character of Cheryl Mole.
She left the programme in 2017 and set up her own freelance hair and make-up business, which she still runs today. In addition, Hebden is a senior production coordinator for Gravity Media.
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