Sue Barker emotional as she admits ‘I didn’t want to give up’ Wimbledon job

The BBC Sport pundit was given a huge send-off on centre court earlier this year after covering Wimbledon for 30 years. Reflecting on her career, Sue stated she didn’t want to “give up” her role but knew it was time to leave with her head held high.

Speaking on Lorraine, Sue commented: “Even this year, I always go in the day before Wimbledon and stand there and soak it all up and I thought, ‘I won’t be able to do that.’

“I won’t have a pass to be able to get in the day before.”

Lorraine replied: “Surely! Surely you will.”

“But I’ll miss it terribly,” Sue continued. “I wish I was 30 years younger and starting out.

“I love the job. I didn’t want to give it up but felt it was the right time to walk out with my head held high.

“I was able to [do that] and BBC Sport gave me the most wonderful send off.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more and they did offer me another three years.

“This was very much my choice.”

Recalling her send-off on centre court, an emotional Sue said: “The Centre Court standing ovation was without question – I’m going to get emotional even thinking about it now – the greatest moment in my career by a long way.”

She went on to recall being in trouble with BBC bosses when she went off script after Andy Murray’s 2013 victory.

“I have a little script. It’s very Wimbledon,” Sue stated.

“‘The winner of the gentlemen’s singles trophy for whatever year it is is so and so.’

“And suddenly, I looked over at Andy and he was crying, and I could hear on Murray Mount the crowd were going mad.

“There was such a buzz around Centre Court, I said, ‘I can’t just read this.’

“So I said, ‘We’ve waited 77 years for this!’ I just felt it needed something more.

“That was the highlight for all of us. He was amazing. The pressure he was under… I don’t know how he did it.”

It’s not been confirmed who will replace Sue hosting Wimbledon but she did previously state it could be Clare Balding.

According to reports, she said at BT Sport Action Woman Awards: “I know I’m leaving it in the safest hands.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to leave it with Clare.”

Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV at 9am.

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