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Sports Report - 60 years young

by 5 live hosts (U1645679) 30 November 2007
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Mark Pougatch

5 live presenter Mark Pougatch, the programme's current presenter, shares his memories of Sports Report, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in January 2008.

It's 60 years old, it's the oldest sports radio programme in the world and for everyone it means something different.

Even though I've presented the programme for the past 7 years, for me Sports Report will forever conjure up images of my dad cleaning his shoes in our small cloakroom next to the downstairs loo at home, listening to the football and racing results.

He had one of those old, battered, black Roberts radios which was held together by a multitude of elastic bands and which he resolutely refused to throw away or swap for a newer model. He bridled at any suggestion that it had had its day: "It was a wedding present when I married your mother and it still works."

Once hed cleaned his shoes hed go and run his bath and, when I was really young, I used to sit on the laundry basket in their bathroom and listen to the voices of my youth: the presenter I remember most Jim Rosenthal (sorry, Jim!); Larry Canning (who I always assumed looked like snooker's Willie Thorne, I dont know why); Chris Rea, the peerless Peter Jones and Stuart Hall. I think the only difference between Stuart then and now is that in the 70s I dont suppose he had long, lovely, loquacious, liquid lunches with the Directors and Chairman that he does today.

Sports Report clearly fired my imagination in the 1970s and was one part of the process that led me to decide that watching sport was a much better idea than working for a living. Sadly my father never heard me present the programme; but we are all products of our upbringing and still today, when I say "Its 5 o'clock and this is Sports Report" and I hear that music ("Out of the Blue"), I hear polish being applied to shoes and water running and I smile.

We'd like to hear your memories of the programme - leave us a comment and tell us what it means to you.

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posted Dec 28, 2007

I really look forward to a saturday afternoon at 5pm when sports report comes on air and mark says it's 5 o'clock and this is sports report

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posted Dec 28, 2007

I support Burton Albion and my fondest memory of Sports Report was in December 1984. We had just beaten Aldershot (then a league club in the old 4th Division) 2 nil away in the 2nd round of the FA Cup. It was only the second time that we had beaten a league club in the FA Cup. 2,000 of us had traveled down to Aldershot on special trains. The draw for the third round was broadcast at about 5:15 on that Saturday evening. We arrived on the platform at Aldershot station just before 5. We were all ecstatic after this superb win and when the SR theme tune came on we danced around the platform singing "Da-da da-da da-da da-dar, da-da da-da da da-da!!". The late great Brian Butler said that he hoped that Burton Albion's inclusion in the draw would provide, in his words "A little fantasy". We drew Leicester at home, an event that four weeks later would make history for the wrong reasons.
When traveling home from matches it is an essential part of the day to return to the car and tune into Sports Report.
Can I appeal to the controller of Five Live to stop truncating Sports Report with live commentaries and give us the full wonderful hour of Sports Report that so many listeners love. Perhaps the live broadcasts could go to FiveLive Extra.

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posted Dec 29, 2007

My dad always said that it was no surprise my brother grew up loving football,as he was born at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon in time for the results on the radio. When he was little in 60/61, it would be Saturday teatime and he would be listening to the results with Dad. He would appear periodically in the kitchen announcing excitedly, mashbabone, mummy,mashbabone!! My mum and I were mystified and it wasn't until years later we realised that he was telling us about all the match postponements that he had heard about on the radio. He especially loved the name Stenhousemuir and, because of sports report, always had a soft spot for the team despite living in the South East of England!

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posted Dec 29, 2007

I suppose that I listened to the first "Sports Report".
Some great football commentators and reporters.
Raymond Glendenning an icon of the day, who also commentated on the big fights with Stewart McPherson a Canadian, and summeries by
W. Barrington Dalby.
Raymond also did the horse racing.
The great football reporters were Donny Davies, Bill Bothwell, an out of breath Scotsman who seemed to have run to the Manchester studio to do his piece, ha! ha!
The very knowledgable and eloquent Geoffrey Green later to be succeeded, in type, by Brian Glanville.
Then the great football commentators following Raymond Glendenning, the twosome that I am sorry to say puts Alan "know it all" Green into the shade, Brian Moore (later to grace television commentary) and Maurice Eddleston, brilliant. Brian Butler who could raise his voice to keep you in touch with the mood of the game but still keeping his words precise and clear.
The new voice to either Radio or TV, Simon Brotherton, tremendous and can raise his voice to the mood of the game but still, as Brian Butler, you can clearly hear every single word. Simon is also a great commentator on the cycling. I even remember John Arlott doing a few football commentaries or reports for Sports Report. Eammon Andrew was a great presenter but tried his best to change the name of Sports Report to "The Five O'clock Show". But it will always be Sports Report.
Mark like so many presenters before him does a brilliant job, others John Inverdale, Tim Payne and "Des", the only thing that spoils the programme now is the silly 5.15 kick off's that break the programmes continuity up.
I could go on and on about the reporters, there were some great ones and as Mark said, Larry Canning, he used to do the Midland teams reports and Bill Bothwell did the Northern area, Manchester and Liverpool in particular, with Donny Davies.
What do the older listeners think to the new breed of screaming commentators, Alan Green and "screaming Lord Such himself" Jonathan Pearce, although he has settled down a little since he came to the BBC.
I could carry on for hours.
Sports Report will carry on for years to come as it is the best sports programme on Radio or TV. It is "out of the blue". Many happy returns on its 60th. birthday, I must have been 10 years old when it started. "This is the BBC Light Programme, "Sports Report".
Reg Allwood, Horsforth, Leeds.

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posted Jan 1, 2008

I can't remember a time when I didn't listen to Sports Report. As a young teenager, my Dad took my brother and myself to Ninian Park to watch Cardiff City - Mel Sutton, Peter King, John Toshack, Alan Warboys (four goals in one game) - and it was always sports Report on the radio on the way home.

Probably that's what inspired me to become a sports journalist: eventually covering non-league football on the edge of London with Barking FC winning the Isthmian League and also Essex Beagles athletics with the peerless Daley Thompson.

What makes Sports Report special? It's not just the music but the breadth and detail of the football coverage .......... though as a passionate Welshman now living in Cornwall I would love to hear more about rugby union other than the English Premiership. After all, it's a national station, isn't it? ;-)

But I love it - all together now: ta dum ta dum ta dum ta dum ta diddly dum ta dum ....

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posted Jan 2, 2008

My memories go back nearly sixty years. My father never had a biro(were they invented in 1948?) and pencils were indistinct so had to use a "laundry marker pen" which had to be wetted by the tongue every so often in order to write down the scores on the back of the newspaper. These scores were rigoursly scrutinised to see if the family had 'won the pools' that week. No such luck.We even reverted to using the famous or should I say infamous Horace Bachelor "Infra Draw" method for a few weeks. Every week in the autumn and winter was underpinned by the famous opening tune at 5pm on a saturday. Warm fires,a cold hall and limited hot water for a bath via the back boiler of an MTF. Childhood nostalgia but there we are.

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posted Jan 3, 2008

Whenever I hear the tune (together with the news over the top) the memories flood back. I was the son of a soldier in Falingbostel Germany in the early to mid 60's. And I remember listening to the scores some time back in 64 with my team Manchester United once again becoming a force in the league after a few lean years. Dah dum dah dum dadada dum dadum dadum dadah dadah dadum dadah Manchester United 5 Everton 1! Wow, there I was full of happiness, wolfing down German cream cakes as I listened to Geoffrey Green's report on the game. I remember hearing for the first time the word "Superlative" and looking it up in the dictionary. And in honour of my English lesson with the magnificent Geoffrey Green I have used his name for this site.
They did change the tune for a while. 70's or 80's? A bad, bad moment in the history of the Beeb.

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posted Jan 3, 2008

Back in 1959 I was a BBC studio manager who worked on Sports Report every Saturday with editor Angus McKay and his secretary Fiona. The star presenter then was Eamonn Andrews and John Webster read the football results to which the Nation listened avidly to check the Pools coupon. In those days the top prize was about 75000 and was the equivalent of todays National Lottery.
It was always a frantic and tense show to work on, with so many reports coming in from all over the country and Angus pulling together the various elements and keeping Eamonn briefed. Eamonn had the amazing ability to conduct a seemless interview with a guest while Angus was feeding the questions into his headphones. This sounded so sponaneous yet often Eamonn had no idea who he was going to talk to, yet he made it sound completely spontaneous. I remember on one occasion Angus screamed at Fiona, "For God's sake light me another cigarette Fiona" to which she smilingly replied "But you already have two on the go Angus!"
Great fun and a very happy team,eventually I moved on to become a producer myself and later took over as Controller of Radio 1. You can read more in my book "Radio 1- The Inside Scene" to be published in the Spring.

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posted Jan 16, 2011

As a young boy coming home from Deepdale on a Saturday evening, where Preston North End played in the top division. I would jog home all the way to listen to Eamonn Andrews and Sports Report on our 'Rediffusion Radio' I think it was on the BBC Home Service. I only got chance to hear the music at the beginning when North End were away, or at the end after the 2nd reading of results. Eamonn Andrews did a lot of boxing commentaries too My dad was a big Boxing fan, Dad would allow me to stay up late and listen to World Championship Heavyweight fights. Rocky Marciano and others.....What Memories... I remember the tune but can't write music... I still listen on Saturday's....

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posted May 22, 2011

I hope all you BBC cu nts die <ok>

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