Andy Townsend set to leave ITV at the end of the season, much to social medias celebration

Townsend will not renew his contract with the TV broadcaster along with lead presenter Matt Smith when the season ends in the summer

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The Independent Football

Co-commentator Andy Townsend and lead presenter Matt Smith will not be renewing their contracts with ITV Sport once they have expired at the end of the season.

It is understood that both men will leave the broadcaster in the summer to pursue other projects in the media.

Townsend enjoyed a successful playing career with the likes of Norwich, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough as well the Republic of Ireland, where he was an integral part of the World Cup squads in 1990 and 1994.

The 51-year-old has been a co-commentator on ITV's England matches and Champions League games for more than a decade, while also being part of the broadcasters short-lived top-flight highlights programme 'The Premiership' between 2001 and 2004 which featured a section called 'Townsend's Tactics Truck'.

Townsend has split the opinion of supporters, with many taking to social media on Thursday to celebrate the news of his imminent departure from ITV.

His punditry style has attracted a Twitter parody account, titled ItsObviousAndy - which has almost 40,000 followers - while the Daily Telegraph's Project Babb has published its own Andy Townsend phrasebook.