Simon Thomas has revealed a tearful plea from his eighth year old son convinced him to quit his role at Sky Sports.
Sky Sports anchor Simon Thomas, whose wife died suddenly of cancer last year, has announced he is leaving his job at the end of the Premier League season to focus on his son, Ethan.
His 40-year-old wife, Gemma, died last November, just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
In a personal blog, Thomas explained: “After many, many weeks of wrestling with the question of what to do, I wanted to put it in writing what I have decided, and it’s with a heavy, but peaceful heart that I write these words: I have decided to leave Sky at the end of the season.
“This is why: firstly and most importantly, I’m doing it for Ethan. On that first morning after Gemma went, I remember Ethan coming up to me in the lounge and through his tears he said these words: ‘Daddy, you know every weekend you go away and do the football, and I spend the weekend with Mummy? What do I do now?’.”
“And they have stuck with me ever since.”
“The flames of passion I once had for it (football) are, for now at least, gone.
“I hope one day, they will relight again, but at the moment there’s barely a flicker.”
Managing director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis, added: “Simon has suffered an unspeakable loss and we have done everything we can to ease the burden he is carrying.
I spoke to Simon this morning and fully support his decision.
“He is part of our family and always will be even now as he searches for his next path.
“If there is some small positive he can take from this experience it is the courage he has shown in opening up, and for others facing the same challenges I know they will take comfort from his actions and his words.”
Sky Sports head of football Gary Hughes said: “Simon has faced a life-changing situation with the same dignity and courage we saw every day when we worked with him.
“He was a great colleague, an important part of our team, but he’s been really honest in what he wants to do next and we support him.
“The whole team will obviously miss him but we are there to help him when he needs us, and the door is very much open if he felt in the future he wanted to talk to us about coming back.”
Earlier this month, to mark five months since Gemma died, Simon shared a photo of a note he had left his son, Ethan, telling him: “You have been amazing. Mum would be so proud. So am I.”
Simon has worked at Sky Sports for the past thirteen years.