Simon Thomas was a Sky Sports former presenter who revealed the reason he took a career cut after his tragic wife’s death. He returned to live TV during the time he worked as a Sky Sports reporter.
The Norfolk-born father-of-one, 48, who has been raising son Ethan, 11, after losing Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017, took to Instagram this week to reveal that the ‘voices in his head were catastrophizing everything’ as he returned to live TV to present live football at Trafford.
Admitting that there were ‘deafening voices of doubt, tears & a panic attack’ and he ‘felt his world was crumbling’, he said his new wife Derrina Jeb, 30, helped coach him through his anxiety.
Gemma Thomas was Simon’s widow and died tragically in November 2017. She had fallen ill with the flu three times, so her GP sent her home to rest.
Just four days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloidleukaemia aged 40, she passed away.
Simon Thomas was a Sky Sports former presenter and revealed the reason he took a career cut after his tragic wife’s death.
Following the death of Gemma at the beginning 2017, the father-of-one from Norfolk is now raising his son Ethan.
Taking to Instagram, he wrote: ‘This week the anxiety that had crippled me 4 years ago and led to me having to come off work returned. Every time I thought about work, every time I tried to do any prep, I could barely concentrate & would have to lie on my bed for a few minutes & go again.
‘The voices in my head were catastrophizing everything, whispering & then almost shouting “you can’t do this, you’ll mess it all up, you’re a fraud, you shouldn’t be doing this.”
‘But then, like four years ago, the red light went on, the voice in my ear said, “we’re on air” & it was like nothing had happened. “I was alone in my safety zone, doing the things I’m capable of.”
Admitting that there were ‘deafening voices of doubt, tears & a panic attack’ and he ‘felt his world was crumbling’,
Simon claimed that Derrina, his wife of 30 years, helped him get through anxiety.
Simon added: “Surely that would be the one?” I’d done the game at Newcastle on Tuesday night, all would be fine for Thursday at Old Trafford, wouldn’t it? My anxiety increased tenfold when I awoke Thursday. There were deafening voices of doubt, tears & a panic attack. My world seemed to be crumbling.
‘Calls to my wonderful, supportive wife & an amazing mate from Sky eventually calmed me down & the panic began to subside. And sure enough, as the red light went on again pitch side at Old Trafford, all was fine again & I had a wonderfully enjoyable evening.’
Explaining why he shared the post, Simon continued: ‘Vulnerability is strength not weakness & reaching out to people & admitting I was struggling was a game changer. It helped me to shout back at those voices, “I am good enough, I can do this.”
Simon was open with his grieving and shared his feelings with 99,000 of his Instagram followers, who in turn showed their support.
Simon made the announcement in April 2018 that he was leaving Sky. Simon stated that his principal reason was wanting to spend more of his time with Ethan.
Simon joined Sky after spending 13 years working at BBC. Simon was previously a Sky Sports News presenter and Sky’s EFL/ League Cup coverage.
Simon announced that in 2020 he would return to ITV’s television as a broadcaster.
Simon has since found love with girlfriend Derrina Jebb, 30, a minister’s daughter he is said to have met in church, and credited her for her support.
Simon’s widow Gemma Thomas died tragically in November 2017. Gemma had visited her GP three times for flu-like symptoms and was then sent home to rest. At 40 years old, she was diagnosed with acute myeloidleukaemia and died within four days.