Steve Bower is an English football commentator, one of the main voices for BBC TV's Match of the Day, culminating in being part of the commentary teams for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Bower commentated on New Zealand's historic draw with Italy and Argentina's 4-1 win over South Korea amongst others.
He can also be heard on ESPN UK covering the Europa League, Serie A and the Bundesliga. Previous work includes Setanta Sports up until the UK operation of the broadcaster ceased in June 2009. He was educated at Calday Grange Grammar School.
Bower began his career as a football commentator and presenter (September 1991 – May 1996) with Radio City (Liverpool) where he presented all sports bulletins on the Sony award winning Breakfast show (Monday to Friday), as well as sports shows from studio and stadiums including pre-match and post-match interviews, with full match commentary on Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers matches (including FA and League Cup finals plus European competitions).
In May 1996, Bower was appointed Head of Sport at Piccadilly Radio (Manchester), the youngest Sports Editor in the UK in Independent Radio responsible for all sports output including the flagship Saturday afternoon show between 1pm and 6pm. He presented every sports programme, mostly live from the stadium, including full match commentary on all Manchester United (including all the Champions League), Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers matches, as well as providing coverage of all England matches home and away. In addition, he gave coverage of Euro96 for Independent Radio news, while in 1998, he gave full match commentary on all England and Scotland matches during the World Cup for the entire EMAP radio network.
From September 1998 to July 2007, Bower was senior commentator and presenter at Manchester United Television (MUTV) where he provided commentary on Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup matches for the full 90 minute delayed broadcast with a co-commentator (including the historic treble winning season of '98-99). He also gave commentary and on-location presentation on pre-season tour matches live around the world in places such as Australia, United States, China, Japan and South Africa, not to mention Reserve and Youth Cup matches (live). He conducted after-match interviews at every game with players and manager, plus special exclusive sit-downs such as with David Beckham on signing in Madrid, Sir Alex Ferguson on announcing his retirement and Roy Keane on 'prawn sandwich' fans. The Roy Keane interview was recorded as part of the series, Roy Keane Plays The Pundit, but was never broadcast due to Keane’s reported stinging attack on his fellow Manchester United players.
Bower's role also comprised studio presentation, which included fans' phone-ins and special shows such as with Joel Glazer on his family buying Manchester United. His work as Head of Presentation made him responsible for all presenters and the overall look of the channel. In the Autumn of 2000, he and long time co-commentator from his days at Piccadilly, 1968 European Cup winner, Paddy Crerand were given their own show by MUTV entitled Crerand and Bower...in Extra Time. During this time, Bower was the England reporter for talkSPORT radio during Euro 2000 which saw him conduct daily interviews with manager and players, and offer on-location studio presentation. He also provided studio presentation throughout Euro 2004 for talkSPORT radio in addition to full match commentaries on England qualifiers and Champions League matches. Bower’s MUTV commentary work, alongside Paddy Crerand, can be heard in the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow.
In July 2007, Bower made the move to Setanta Sports where he was a commentator and presenter. His work included live Premier League games, live FA Cup matches, live UEFA Cup matches, live World Cup qualifiers, commentary and presentation of live Blue Square Premier (conference) games, including play-off games and a final at Wembley. He also worked on FA Cup matches including build-up to the final, as well as coverage of live England under-21 and under-19 matches, and coverage of the FA Youth Cup (including the Final).
Following Setanta Sports' UK division entering administration in June 2009, Bower began working for ESPN in August 2009, mainly focusing on European football including Portuguese Liga and Eredivise, but also domestic competitions from time to time. His first commentary for the network was the pre-season friendly between S.L. Benfica and A.C. Milan
- ^ Kay, Oliver (1 November 2005). "United push panic button after Keane's video nasty". Article from The Times Newspaper (1 November 2005) (London). Retrieved 28 June 2007.
- ^ "Steven Bower Blog". Retrieved 2007.