First Edition of Match of the Day

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History on 22nd August


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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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Brit Quote:
May not the complaint, that common people are above their station, often take its rise in the fact of uncommon people being below theirs? - Charles Dickens
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On this day:
The Second Battle of Lincoln - 1217, Shakespeare’s Sonnets Published - 1609, Battle of Wakefield - 1643, The Great Bexhill Waterspout and Tornado - 1729, The Last English Duel - 1845
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