Sue Barker cries during BBC coverage of Wimbledon

Sue Barker in tears as she’s surprised by BBC colleagues on final Wimbledon show

Sue hosted her final Wimbledon show in 2022

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Sue Barker was in tears as she presented her final day of Wimbledon coverage for the BBC in 2022.

Broadcasting legend Sue, 68, who fronted tennis for the BBC for nearly three decades, was surprised on air with a touching tribute video.

It included praise and thanks from a host of tennis stars, including Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman and Pete Sampras also supplied contributions.

“I think it is fair to say we’ve broken her,” Clare Balding later joked as nearby attendees chanted Sue’s name.

Sue Barker in tears during BBC coverage of Wimbledon
Sue Barker sobbed as BBC presenting colleagues Tim Henman and Billie Jean King hailed her (Credit: BBC)

Sue Barker on final Wimbledon show

Commentator John McEnroe surprised Sue on air as he introduced a highlight package showing her as a player and anchor.

And among the many fond words said about Sue, Andy Murray said: “I’ve grown up watching you on the TV. And then obviously been interviewed by you here many times.

“You’re going to be sadly missed by everyone who loves and watches tennis.”

Billie Jean King has referred to Sue as “the GOAT” on several occasions. The former number one US star added: “She has lived it. She understands it. Sue understands the highs and lows of Wimbledon as a player.”

How Sue reacted

An overwhelmed Sue – who reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 1977 as a player – said her BBC run was “an absolute privilege”.

Meanwhile, she added: “All I’ll say is I’ll miss the job, I wish I had the next 30 years to do. I love it. But most of all I’m going to miss the people I work with.”

Sue, who according to reports turned down a three-year contract extension by the BBC, continued at the time: “In front of the camera, behind the camera, you’ve just been absolutely amazing.

I’ve been so proud to the front the programme, so thank you.

“I’ve been so proud to the front the programme, so thank you.”

Sue Barker fronting BBC coverage of Wimbledon
Sue Barker fronted BBC coverage of Wimbledon for nearly 30 years (Credit: BBC)

Tributes from fans on Twitter

Fans also paid fulsome tributes to Sue on Twitter at the time.

“She’s an absolute institution and will be missed,” one social media user wrote.

“Congratulations to Sue on a wonderful career, sporting and presenting! I hope she enjoys a happy retirement.”

Meanwhile another tweeter posted: “Sue Barker will be missed by us all.Wimbledon coverage won’t be the same without her knowledge, humour, and natural flair for presenting.

“The end of an era and big boots to fill!”

In addition, a third tweeted: “She’s brilliant. Loved watching her. Like they say she’s the GOAT of presenting.”

Clare Balding now hosts coverage of Wimbledon, which is airing on July 11 on BBC One and BBC Two.

Read more: BBC viewers beg for Sue Barker to return as Andy Murray left tearful after Wimbledon surprise

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer