Jacqui Oatley

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Jacqui Oatley
Born Wolverhampton, England
Residence London
Nationality British
Education St Dominic's, Brewood
Wolverhampton Grammar School
Alma mater University of Leeds
Sheffield Hallam University
Occupation Football presenter commentator
Employer Freelance
Known for First female football commentator on Match of the Day
Home town Codsall, South Staffordshire, England
Parents Gerald, Sonja

Jacqui Oatley is a British freelance sports broadcaster, presenting, commentating and reporting mostly on football. She is best known for being the first female commentator on BBC One's Match of the Day. She is an FA qualified football coach.


Jacqui Oatley was born in Wolverhampton in 1975. Her late father Gerald was the managing director of a large gas appliance company; her mother Sonja is a retired nurse who was born and brought up in South Africa, where her parents were Norwegian missionaries.[1] She has an older brother Jeremy. Her cousin in South Africa was a Springboks cricket selector, while his brother was a rally driver who twice won the Roof of Africa.[2]

On 26 April 2011 she announced, via Twitter, that she had given birth to a baby girl called Phoebe Rae. On New Year's Day 2013 she became engaged to her long-term boyfriend.


In her childhood, Oatley developed a love of watching and playing football.[1] She attended the all-girls junior school, St Dominic's in Brewood, Staffordshire. Oatley passed three A-Levels at Wolverhampton Grammar School,[1] and studied at University of Leeds, graduating with a degree in German in 1996.

Oatley spent a year travelling the world, and then moved to London to work in intellectual property as a Sales and Marketing Manager, then Key Account Manager. While playing amateur football for Chiswick Ladies Football Club, Oatley sustained a dislocated knee cap and ruptured ligaments, which resulted in a reconstruction operation and ten months recovering on crutches. With further operations to follow, she was told she would no longer be able to play sport.

Journalism career[edit]

Oatley decided to retrain as a journalist, studying print journalism and radio production at evening classes while broadcasting on hospital radio. She then gave up her job and flat, spent a summer sleeping on friends' floors whilst doing work experience full-time. She undertook a Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) in Broadcast Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University.[3] While studying she joined BBC Radio Leeds as a sports reporter, continuing to work there after graduation. Her first commentary was on a match between Wakefield & Emley versus Worksop Town in the Unibond League.

Oatley also worked as a news reporter in her native West Midlands with BBC WM, before moving back to London to work as a sports reporter for BBC London 94.9. She joined BBC Radio Five Live in 2003 and became the first woman to commentate on a football match on British network radio in 2005, covering the England women's internationals at the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship. Her subsequent interview with UEFA President Lennart Johansson became an international news story due to his controversial comments on women's football.[4]

Oatley became the first female football commentator in the history of BBC football programme Match of the Day,[5] with her debut broadcast on 21 April 2007 for the Premier League match between Fulham F.C. and Blackburn Rovers F.C.[6] She has since commentated on several further games for Match of the Day.

Oatley was the Austria-based reporter for BBC Television at Euro 2008, reported and commentated at the Women's World Cup in China in 2007 and presented and commentated on a television show Level Up during the World Cup in Germany in 2006. She commentated on live football matches for BBC Television during the Beijing Olympics. In September 2009, she commentated on the Euro 2009 final between Germany and England and did several live commentaries for BBC Radio 5 Live at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. She was BBC Television reporter with the Great Britain women's Olympic football team for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Oatley is a sports presenter on the BBC News Channel and presents football for BBC Sport. In 2013 she hosted Late Kick Off on BBC One in London and the South East and will anchor UEFA Women's Euro 2013.[7] She is also a regular reporter on Football Focus and Final Score on BBC One and a Premier League presenter on their worldwide television channel, produced by IMG.

After the birth of her daughter in 2011, Oatley went freelance in 2012. In 2012 she fronted The FA WSL Show for ESPN. She has since presented sports news on BBC Radio One, BBC Radio Two and BBC Radio Four, as well as more frequently on Radio Five Live. She has covered the World Snooker Championship, British Moto GP and Open Championship golf and various other sports such as tennis and rugby league. In 2014, she fronted the FA Cup summary show for ITV Sport.


  1. ^ a b c "Match of the Day gets first female presenter". This is London. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2008. 
  2. ^ "Euro 2008 – About Jacqui Oatley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Notable alumni". Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 8 June 2008. 
  4. ^ "Backlash over Johansson's remarks". BBC News. 17 June 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Football". The Guardian (London). 10 February 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Sun Online – The Best for News, Sport and Showbiz – The Sun". The Sun (London). 
  7. ^ "Women's Euros 2013". BBC Media Centre. 1 July 2013. 

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