Clive Tyldesley (born 21 August 1954) is an English television sports broadcaster. He has been ITV's senior football commentator since the retirement of Brian Moore following the 1998 World Cup final. In that role, he has led the ITV commentary team at the subsequent 4 World Cups and 4 European Championships, and been lead commentator on the last 17 UEFA Champions League finals as well as taking the microphone at 9 FA Cup finals for ITV. He won the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Commentator of the Year in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005, and was voted the Sony Radio Awards' Sports Broadcaster of the Year in 1983.
Tyldesley was born in Radcliffe, Lancashire and was educated at Bury Grammar School, Kirkham Grammar School and the University of Nottingham. He obtained an honours degree in Industrial Economics, but always wanted to pursue a career in sports commentating. In June 1975, he began his broadcast career straight from university with Radio Trent in Nottingham, where he became their regular Nottingham Forest reporter. In April 1977, he joined Radio City in Liverpool and remained there for the next 12 years. After succeeding Elton Welsby as City's sports editor, he covered the successes of Everton and Liverpool through the late 1970s and 1980s. Tyldesley was on-air at the scene of the Heysel disaster in 1985, but did not attend Liverpool's tragic FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1989. He was heavily involved in City's coverage of the aftermath of the disaster. A teenage Liverpool fan that Clive had met and encouraged in his ambition to become a commentator, Ian Whelan, was among the 96 victims.
Early ITV career
For much of his radio career, Tyldesley had contributed match reports to ITV's World of Sport programme. In 1987, he began to work on "Sportsweek", a late night Granada Television sports programme featuring Welsby and Robert McCaffrey. During the next two years, Tyldesley began to split his working time between Radio City and Granada, who he eventually joined full-time in 1989. He became their main football commentator and also worked as a reporter and occasional presenter on their Kick Off and Granada Soccer Night programmes. Tyldesley's first television commentary was in September 1989 at the Maine Road derby in which Manchester City beat United 5-1. He became ITV's rugby league commentator in the north-west alongside Hull FC coach Brian Smith, and worked with Martin Tyler and Fred Trueman as a cricket commentator on Granada's coverage of Roses matches. Tyldesley's commentaries were now being broadcast on ITV network programmes, and he was chosen to be part of their commentary team at the 1992 European Football Championships in Sweden. From 1989, he also became a regular reporter on 'Saint and Greavsie'.
Tyldesley received an offer to join the BBC's sports department in London in the summer of 1992. BBC's partnership with BSkyB enabled them to obtain highlights rights for the new Premier League in the spring of 1992, and they added Tyldesley to their established commentary team of John Motson, Barry Davies and Tony Gubba. For four years he contributed commentaries, voice-overs and film reports to Match of the Day and Sportsnight, working at the 1994 World Cup and 1996 European Championships as a BBC commentator. Because of the pre-eminence of Motson and Davies, he only commentated on 4 live matches in as many years with the BBC and in 1996 he was offered a chance to return to ITV. Tyldesley's final weeks with the BBC were spent commentating on the basketball tournament at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Return to ITV (1996–present)
Tyldesley rejoined ITV in August 1996 as an understudy to Moore, who he often cites with Motson and Reg Gutteridge as the greatest influences on his commentary career. When Moore retired in 1998, Tyldesley became the network's lead football commentator. During his first season in that role, he commentated alongside Ron Atkinson on all of Manchester United's games in their successful Champions League campaign in addition to their FA Cup final victory in that treble season of 1999. His most famous commentary lines came during the dramatic climax of the Champions League final of that year when he asked, "Can Manchester United score? They always score" moments before their equalizing goal. "Name on the trophy", "Solskjaer has won it" and "Manchester United have reached the Promised Land" are other phrases from his commentary fondly remembered by United fans. He has commentated on every Champions League final since 1998 for ITV, including dramatic successes for Liverpool and Chelsea as well as Manchester United. Tyldesley has been ITV's lead commentator at each European Championships since 2000 and World Cup since 2002. His regular co-commentators since Atkinson's resignation in 2004 have been Jim Beglin and now Andy Townsend. He admits that football commentary is the only job he has ever really wanted to do since he was a child and regularly volunteers to speak to sports broadcast students at universities and colleges. Tyldesley says his only career disappointments were three unsuccessful interviews for BBC Radio Sport during the 1980's. He has the three rejection letters framed. He says his own personal favourite sports commentators are Pat Summerall and Brian Johnston.
Tyldesley has provided and written scripts for the sound commentary on EA Sports computer games since 2006: FIFA 06, FIFA 07, FIFA 08, FIFA 09 (PC, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP FIFA 10, 2006 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2008, UEFA Champions League 2004–2005 and 2006–2007, 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup, "World Cup Mode" in FIFA 13 and FIFA 14, all versions of FIFA for iOS and Android, and options in commentary for FIFA 13 and FIFA 14. He also provided commentary for Championship Manager 2, the last in the franchise to feature verbal analysis, and the PlayStation 1 video games This is Football and FA Premier League Stars 2001. Tyldesley has been host of the International Electronic Games Conference as part of the Edinburgh Festival on two occasions. He also delivered the Roscoe Lecture at St George's Hall, Liverpool in 2008.
Tyldesley was married for the second time in July 2013 and lives near Reading with his wife Susan and their four children. He has been a patron of the Bobby Moore Bowel Cancer Fund since 2008, and has been involved with Sir Bobby Robson's Refugio charity in Portugal since 2004. He is also an active supporter of the Kick It Out organization and a member of the Labour Party, hosting the party's leadership hustings in Manchester in 2010. Tyldesley is known as a lifelong Manchester United fan. He was first taken to Old Trafford by his father as a 5 year old and was a 'home and away supporter' during his school and university days. He has since explained that from the days he first began working in radio in Nottingham, many of the closest friends he has made have been football people and that his support for a particular club was quickly "diluted" and replaced by a loyalty to them. He has often been criticised for seemingly anti-Everton commentary.
- Maume, Chris (29 May 1999). "Tyldesley's silence proves he can live with the best". The Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Mooney, David. "BlueMoon Podcast Season 3 Episode 7 - Adie Mike". Podcast. Blue Moon. Retrieved 19 November 2011.