Jackie Fullerton
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Jackie Fullerton

Jackie Fullerton
OccupationAuthor, Television presenter, Journalist

John Alexander Fullerton,[1]MBE[2] (born 22 May 1943 in Ballymena[1]) is a Northern Irish television presenter and journalist, who is currently a reporter and football commentator for BBC Northern Ireland.

Sporting career

Fullerton was previously a footballer for Irish league clubs Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Derry City and Crusaders; winning the Irish League title with Crusaders in the 1972/1973 season.[1]

On 6 August 1966, Ballymena United were the visitors when Fullerton became Cliftonville's first ever used substitute at Solitude.

In addition to his football career, Fullerton also played cricket for Ballymena.[3]

Broadcasting career


Fullerton's presenting career began in 1973 as a reporter and presenter for Ulster Television.[1] He was invited to work for the station by station controller Sidney Perry after participating in a penalty competition for the Sportscast programme [4] and became the main sports anchor on UTV's evening magazine programme, Good Evening Ulster.[5]

In his autobiography, Fullerton revealed he almost accepted a sports reporter position at Granada Television in 1978, but decided to remain in Northern Ireland for the sake of his family.[6] He also disclosed the controversy caused by rumours of an affair with Good Evening Ulster presenting colleague Gloria Hunniford, which were untrue.[5] It was during his time on Good Evening Ulster when, in 1980, Fullerton interviewed wrestler Giant Haystacks in the studio, who proceeded to slam him on the studio floor - a clip which has been repeated on various blooper TV shows since.[4] Jackie also worked for ITV Network including reports for Saturday lunchtime programme Saint & Greavsie.


Fullerton moved from Ulster Television to BBC Northern Ireland in 1992.[1]

In 2004, the BBC announced that Fullerton would no longer introduce the sport during BBC Newsline, but his reporting and commentating duties would still continue.[7] The same year saw Fullerton undergo triple heart by-pass surgery following a period of ill health.[8] He returned to commentary duties in January 2005.[9]

In 2007, Sky Sports obtained live broadcast rights to Northern Ireland's international matches for £10million.[10] Rumours circulated at the time that Fullerton had been approached by the network to commentate on their coverage of Northern Ireland games. These rumours were unfounded when Fullerton disclosed while he had talks with Sky,[11] he had signed a 'rolling contract' to remain with BBC Northern Ireland.[12]


In 2008, Fullerton interviewed Northern Ireland international David Healy on the footballer's DVD, David Healy, The Talisman.[13]


Fullerton published his autobiography, Jackie: "I Did It My Way", in 2006.[14] He is married with three sons: Darren, Nicky and Gareth, who are all sports journalists themselves.[1][3]


Fullerton was awarded the MBE in 2010 for his services to sports journalism and his wide-ranging service to the community.[15]

Personal life

Before becoming a footballer, Fullerton trained to be an accountant.[1] As a sideline to his broadcasting career, Fullerton has also sung on television and on stage.[16] His uncle Alex Russell was a footballer who played for Linfield and earned one cap for the Northern Ireland national team.[17]

Sporting honours


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Gail Walker interview - Jackie Fullerton" Belfast Telegraph: 15 May 2003; accessed 19 January 2009
  2. ^ Queen honours Longley and McCoy in Birthday Awards list
  3. ^ a b "Secrets and Lies: Jack the Lad" Belfast Telegraph: 24 February 2007; accessed 19 January 2009
  4. ^ a b Belfast Telegraph: "Jackie's always been a good sport" Belfast Telegraph: 11 May 2003; accessed 19 January 2009
  5. ^ a b "Gloria, me and those rumours about our affair" Belfast Telegraph: 4 September 2006: accessed 19 January 2009
  6. ^ "The day I was dropped" Belfast Telegraph: 5 September 2006; accessed 19 January 2009
  7. ^ "Veteran sports presenter out in the cold" Belfast Telegraph: 26 March 2004; accessed 19 January 2009
  8. ^ "Jackie Fullerton: The terrible day I thought I might die" Belfast Telegraph: 30 November 2004; accessed 19 January 2009
  9. ^ "Good to be Jack" Belfast Telegraph: 23 January 2005; accessed 19 January 2009
  10. ^ "Sky jacked" Belfast Telegraph: 5 August 2007; accessed 19 January 2009
  11. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "Sky jacked" Belfast Telegraph: 5 August 2007; accessed 19 January 2009
  12. ^ "Jackie decides to stay with Beeb" Belfast Telegraph: 27 August 2007; accessed 19 January 2009
  13. ^ "Healy, the Northern Ireland manager" Belfast Telegraph: 17 November 2008; accessed 19 January 2009
  14. ^ "She wasn't my Hunni...": Belfast Telegraph: 29 January 2006; accessed 19 January 2009
  15. ^ Tony McCoy and Kyle McCallan head NI sporting honours BBC Sport, 11 June 2010
  16. ^ "BBC Jackie knows the score for concert Belfast Telegraph: 19 November 2003; accessed 19 January 2009
  17. ^ "Quiet and unassuming Blues legend". The Irish News. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 2020.

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