ITV Sport technical boss dies in Qatar whilst covering World Cup
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ITV Sport's technical director has tragically died in Qatar while covering this year's World Cup.
Roger Pearce passed away aged 65 yesterday (21 November), just 24 hours after the football tournament kicked off.
He had been working for ITV for 43 years, covering major sporting events including eight World Cups.
The cause of death is currently unknown.
ITV Sports presenter Mark Pougatch announced the sad news last night, stating: "We have some very sad news to bring you from here in Qatar.
"Our technical director, Roger Pearce, who was here embarking on his eighth World Cup has sadly passed away.
"Roger and his team are the brilliant people who bring you the pictures into your homes and make it all happen.
"Roger was a hugely respected figure in the TV sport broadcasting industry.
"For ITV, he has been instrumental in the logistical planning and delivery of Rugby World Cups as well as the football World Cups as well as the Euros.
"He always had a smile on his face and left a smile on your faces. He was utterly dedicated, professional, charming and hugely popular.
"He will be missed by so many people inside the industry and at home."
Niall Sloane, ITV's director of sport, also shared a statement with The Mirror which reads: "The ITV Sport team are devastated by Roger's passing.
"He was a brilliant technical director and a wonderful colleague and friend.
"His service to ITV for over 40 years was a testament to his loyalty to the company.
"Our thoughts are with his family and those closest to him."
In the wake of the news, tributes have poured in for the late broadcaster, including one from friend Neil Stainsby who suggested that Roger was set to retire in a matter of weeks.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "So sad to hear of the passing of my friend and former colleague at ITV Meridian, Roger Pearce.
"He died on his last assignment in Qatar before retirement in 5 weeks time. RIP Roger."
The football fans also shared their condolences, with one writing: "Very sad to hear of the passing of ITV's Roger Pearce.
"All the tributes are so deserved. Such wonderful service he gave."
Another said: "I can't believe the news about Roger Pearce. I'm absolutely stunned, such a wonderful, kind hearted, friendly man.
"Will be sorely missed. Love goes out to his family and ITV colleagues."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677