Sports

All you need to know about female commentator Vicki Sparks and how she got to the World Cup

author image

The top facts on female commentator Vicki Sparks and how she got to the World Cup
Vicki Sparks was the first woman to ever commentate for UK listeners on a World Cup match (Picture: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Football was changed forever this month when Vicki Sparks became the first woman to commentate on a World Cup match for British TV.

The sports reporter has segued into commentating at an exciting time for the England team as they continue their battle for glory in Russia.

Sadly her success, which saw her commentating on Morocco vs Portugal, has garnered the wrong kind of attention after a few fans have complained they dont like hearing a female voice.

But this week she has been fiercely defended by many in the media, including presenter Jacqui Oatley, who can tell shes doing a great job, and has earned her place.

Here is what we know about Vicki…

The top facts on female commentator Vicki Sparks and how she got to the World Cup
Vicki at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Morocco (Picture: Getty)

Born in Newcastle, Vicki Sparks is a sports commentator currently working for BBC Sport, who is known for covering womens football.

Advertisement Advertisement

The 30-year-old began her career as a broadcast assistant at Radio Newcastle.

In 2015 she won the job of commentating on the FA Womens Super League, and said: Ive always wanted to try and get into commentary so thought Id [apply] and see what happened.

Before that she had only commentated on one match for radio, Middlesbrough v Charlton in the Championship for BBC London.

She originally told an interviewer: The ultimate dream would be to commentate on the Champions League final for 5 Live. And see an English team win it!

After her womens match commentary, she began reporting for Final Score and 5 Live on Championship matches and returned to 5 Live Sports Extra to commentate.

In 2017, when she was acting as reporter, a chat with Sunderland manager David Moyes lead to controversy.

The top facts on female commentator Vicki Sparks and how she got to the World Cup
Vicki has worked for 5 Live as a reporter (Pictures: Twitter)

After a post-match interview, Moyes expressed his disapproval at one of Sparks questions, and said: You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself.

You still might get a slap even though youre a woman. Careful the next time you come in.

Sparks had asked Moyes if he felt under more pressure with Ellis Short, the owner of Sunderland FC, watching.

Three months later the FA fined him £30,000 for improper and threatening remarks.

The top facts on female commentator Vicki Sparks and how she got to the World Cup
David Moyes in May 2017, a month before he was fined by the FA (Picture: Getty)

On 20 June 2018, Vicki became the first woman to ever commentate on a World Cup match, and she described the only goal (by Cristiano Ronaldo) of that match, Portugal vs Morocco.

Advertisement Advertisement

She excitedly cried after the goal: Wouldnt you just know it!

During this debut, John Terry was criticised for writing online that he was having to watch this game with no volume. He later said his TV audio was not working.

And Jason Cundy then went on TV to say that womens voices are too high-pitched to be suitable for commentary.

Former Chelsea footballer Jason Cundy says womens voices are too high-pitched to commentate football matches. pic.twitter.com/yYKH8CL2kR

— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 25, 2018

He was slated by fans, and called a sexist pig by Piers Morgan.

Sparks is not the only woman involved in the World Cup coverage to have been criticised, as pundits Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott (both former England internationals) were also trolled online.

MORE: As a female sports fan I know Jason Cundy is not the only man who thinks women shouldnt discuss football

MORE: Why is there a carbon dioxide shortage and how do you make the gas?

MORE: Who will Federer, Murray, Djokovic and Nadal have to beat to win Wimbledon?

Advertisement Advertisement

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *