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22nd Nov 2022

ITV’s Roger Pearce dies while covering Qatar World Cup

Steve Hopkins

Roger was set to retire in five weeks time

ITV Sport’s technical director has died in Qatar while covering the World Cup that got underway just days ago.

Roger Pearce passed away on Monday, aged 65.

The tournament had kicked off just 24-hour earlier, with the host nation losing 2-0 to Ecuador.

Roger had worked for ITV for 43 years, covering major sporting events including eight World Cups, and was set to retire within weeks.

His cause of death is not yet known.

ITV Sports presenter Mark Pougatch announced Roger’s passing on Monday night, saying: “We have some very sad news to bring you from here in Qatar.

“Our technical director, Roger Pearce, who was here embarking on his eighth World Cup has sadly passed away.

“Roger and his team are the brilliant people who bring you the pictures into your homes and make it all happen.

“Roger was a hugely respected figure in the TV sport broadcasting industry.”

Pougatch said Roger had been “instrumental in the logistical planning and delivery of Rugby World Cups as well as the football World Cups as well as the Euros”.

He added that Roger “always had a smile on his face and left a smile on your faces”.

“He was utterly dedicated, professional, charming and hugely popular. He will be missed by so many people inside the industry and at home.”

Niall Sloane, ITV’s director of sport, shared a statement with The Mirror which reads: “The ITV Sport team are devastated by Roger’s passing. “He was a brilliant technical director and a wonderful colleague and friend.

“His service to ITV for over 40 years was a testament to his loyalty to the company. “Our thoughts are with his family and those closest to him.”

In the wake of the news, tributes have poured in for the late broadcaster, including one from friend Neil Stainsby who suggested that Roger was set to retire in five weeks time.

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