First Edition of Match of the Day

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Battle of the Standard

First Edition of Match of the Day

London The 22nd of August 1964 AD

The great Kenneth Wolstenholme presented the first edition of Match of the Day. Strangely it appears that the impetus for putting the then early evening programme on was not so much pleasing football fans in 1964, but avoiding cock-ups two years later when (readers in Scotland look away now) England hosted (and won) the World Cup – it gave cameramen the chance to learn the ins and outs of covering football matches. Its airing on the newly-launched BBC2 was evidence the Beeb wasn’t paying it that much attention, as the station was then only available in London.

It is of course highly unusual for the BBC to focus on London; just as unusual as it is for their football coverage to feature the two teams on that first edition: Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-2 at Anfield in the one match shown ( Norwich City once had a fanzine called Liverpool Are on the Telly Again).

And yes, I know that in your heads there is inevitably something like: “dit-dit-dit-dee-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee dum,” going on, but actually the much loved theme tune for MOTD didn’t appear until 1970 – for the first six years of the programme a piece called Drum Majorette was used.

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I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. - Aldous Huxley
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Paradise Lost Published - 1667, First Benny Hill TV Show - 1951, Marchioness Disaster - 1989
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