TV sports presenter Tony Gubba, known for presenting Sportsnight, Match of the Day and Grandstand, died yesterday following a short illness.

Gubba, 69, worked for the Lancashire Telegraph when it was the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and its sister paper the Burnley Star for around five years in the 1960s.

He is known most recently as being a commentator on ITV series Dancing On Ice since its launch in 2006.

After leaving the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Manchester-born Gubba spent time as the Daily Mirror's north of England correspondent before joining BBC Sport in 1972, replacing David Coleman as the presenter of the midweek sports programme Sportsnight.

He later went on to work on Match of the Day, both as commentator and front man, and to introduce Grandstand as a stand-in for Frank Bough.

He was a sports all-rounder who commentated on hockey, table-tennis, golf, tennis, bobsleigh, ski-jumping, darts and ice-skating for the BBC.

Gubba also covered every Olympic Games, both summer and winter, from 1972 to 2012, as well as every World Cup from 1974 to 2006.

Former Lancashire Evening Telegraph colleague Carolyn Taylor said: “Tony worked at the paper as a news reporter for around five years. He was a mad sports man and a generally quite a character who lived for his job.”

Tributes have also been paid on social networking site Twitter.

Stan Collymore wrote: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Tony Gubba. One of the great sports commentary voices.”

Phillip Schofield, Dancing on Ice presenter, tweeted: “It's with the saddest of hearts that I tweet the news that our dear friend Tony Gubba has passed away. We are all aware how poorly he was.”

Fellow commentator Jim Proudfoot said: “Such sad news about Tony Gubba. I did a lot of games for Sky that he did for MOTD — he was always good company, and very helpful to me with introductions to players and staff I didn't know. A gentleman. RIP Tony.”

He leaves his partner of 15 years, Jenny, his two daughters, Claire, 40, and Libby, 38, and three granddaughters.