I have recently been asked about radio commentaries of domestic and European Everton home fixtures in the early to mid 1960s (in the days before Radio Merseyside and Radio City).
Do any of our more senior ToffeeWeb readers recall if they listened at home or work to radio commentaries from Goodison and, if so, what channel(s) were they on?
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1 Posted 07/10/2020 at 23:51:05
On national radio, second-half commentary of one league game, usually from Division One, was broadcast on the Light Programme, which was the forerunner of the modern-day Radio Two. Listeners were not told which game was being covered until 3:45 pm, on the stroke of half-time. Given that only one game was selected each week, a supporter could expect their team to be featured on no more than a handful of occasions each season. It was quite a treat when your team was selected.
The main commentators were the legendary Raymond Glendenning and Maurice Edelston, who shared the 45 minutes, each taking the microphone for 22/23 minutes.
Most of the Everton matches I can recall being covered seemed to be away from home. Possibly the club adopted the same hostile attitude to national radio commentary as they most certainly did in respect of television coverage.
The first Everton game I remember listening to at the age of eight was a 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns in March 1961. I have not checked but I think we were already 3-0 down at half-time.
The following season, 1961-62, our FA Cup 5th Round tie at Burnley was featured, another defeat by 3-1; likewise in 1962-63 our infamous 5th Round 1-0 defeat at West Ham.
The only Goodison game I can remember listening to was the visit of reigning champions Manchester United on 19 August 1967. This was the last season for which I did not have a season ticket. The match was all-ticket, unusual for a game other than the derby, and I had missed the ticket sales. Of course, we won 3-1, the commentators waxed lyrical about the quality of our players, Ball, Kendall and Harvey plus young Joe Royle.
In October 1967, the BBC revamped their national stations with the Light Programme rebranded to Radio Two. Second-half commentary continued on the same basis as before on Radio Two for many years to come.
2 Posted 07/10/2020 at 00:30:58
You're quite right in that there was just the one Saturday afternoon commentary on the Light Programme, usually from Division 1, and as you say, it was just the second half.
The chosen game wasn't announced until after 3pm and I think the reasoning behind this was the powers that be thought that if fans knew their team was going to be on the radio they wouldn't bother going to the match.
The only clue was in the Radio Times which always stated the geographical spread of the commentary. They preferred clubs which were far apart. For example; 'today's commentary will feature a club from the South of England versus one from the Northwest'.
So if we were away to a London side, there was a chance it could be us. Sometimes the complication was another Northwest side would also often be in London and there were plenty of them: Man City, Man Utd, Preston, Bolton, Burnley, Blackpool and Blackburn. Happily, prior to1962 there was no need to consider the RS as they were in Division 2
The easiest one to figure out was a game featuring a club from the Northeast vs one from the Northwest. So, if we were away to Newcastle it was bound to be us as Sunderland would also be away on that day.
I'm sure the 8-2 Newcastle game, in the early 1960s, was a commentary game but the 10-4 Spurs game wasn't... but I stand to be corrected.
3 Posted 08/10/2020 at 15:37:47
4 Posted 09/10/2020 at 09:18:44
Like the others, I can only recall matches on BBC Light Programme, usually in the afternoon. It may be that evening matches were featured too, but I never listened to one.
Possibly something for British Forces overseas?
I only ever heard away matches featured. This may be because I would be at the home matches, living as I did, 5 minutes from the ground.
One I do recall was in the early 60s, and it was Tottenham away. I remember because I was ill in bed. I think we won 4-2 and Vernon scored 2. Maurice Edelston said something along the lines of “I've often heard people raving about how good Vernon is, but I've not seen it myself. Today, I can see what they mean. He's run the show.” It stuck in my mind.
There was another programme on Saturday lunchtime, where they previewed the matches. The signature tune was a piece of brass band music. A guy called Bill Bothwell used to talk about Everton games. I think he was a fan of the football we played, always fair, which was fairly unusual in those days. It was a great appetiser for the match in those innocent pre-pub days.
To my young ears, all the commentators sounded ancient, and Edelston seemed out of breath. Probably doing them an injustice.
5 Posted 09/10/2020 at 10:27:57
I seem to remember that I could get football on the BFPO on shortwave too (Germany?)
6 Posted 09/10/2020 at 13:51:39
Elton Welsby screeching "Another goal at Anfield" during the '70s as the shite did their Lazarus act was a consistent theme for years and scarred me for life. Actually I won't watch/listen to Everton or Liverpool live at all these days on the excellent premise that ignorance is bliss.
7 Posted 10/10/2020 at 09:29:20
BBCs post match 'Grandstand' anchored by Eamon Andrews and the "Abbey" packed to the rafters with home grown pundits.
8 Posted 10/10/2020 at 09:52:04
9 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:07:27
10 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:14:06
Likewise Chris (4), that 4-2 win at Spurs in which I think Alex Young also scored, was the Saturday before we signed Fred Pickering, dont know if Alex was dropped for the Notts Forest game the next week. when Fred made his debut and scored a hat trick in a 6-1 win.
By the way I never listened to the radio, when I was young, I always preferred the “ wireless” much better!!
11 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:20:03
12 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:22:42
13 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:27:24
14 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:39:12
15 Posted 10/10/2020 at 10:59:58
16 Posted 10/10/2020 at 11:20:48
I was at Anfield, on the Kop to see Davy make his debut, with my mate Barry. Ive read that Shankly absolutely loved Dave Hickson. Not surprised at all.
Peter Brough was a ventriloquist made for wireless! The TV killed him because his lips moved unbelievably. He looked like he was holding a conversation with himself while he was holding a dummy for some reason
17 Posted 10/10/2020 at 11:33:09
Alex Young was dropped for Fred, I assume, because he was missing in that match, according to Everton Results. I was at that match too, and Fred could have had 6!
18 Posted 10/10/2020 at 11:57:06
I don't think many of the youngsters are aware that it was only in 1962 that MOTD started and that was only highlights of 1 game, no highlights or goals from other games were shown. Back then at halftime we used to wait in anticipation to see the halftime scores being put up against letters on the wall in front of the main stand. The only games that were always shown was the England Internationals, usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.
Back then unlike now we may have signed players who you had never seen, I can always remember the excitement if we were playing someone at Goodison who was an England international. Sadly Mathews always seemed to be injured when Blackpool came to play at Goodison. Nowadays when you sign a player even from the other side of the world everybody has seen them play for their clubs or their countries.
I actually think the expeirience of watching games back then was a whole lot more enjoyable, and opposing fans used to mix and at half time the conversations between the sets of fans was how well such and such a player had played and not about who was winning the game. Now we never get to talk to opposing fans during or after the game and now it has become more tribalistic so wouldnt have the same enjoyment as it did back then
19 Posted 10/10/2020 at 12:13:07
Not surprised that Shankly loved Davie, didnt everyone!!
20 Posted 10/10/2020 at 12:40:30
The alternatives to catching the commentaries / results in this way were to a) go to Frankfurt main Railway Station on the Sunday afternoon to buy a newspaper, b) ring home to get the result (expensive phone call) or c) wait for my delivery of the football pink - usually arriving about Thursday.
As for midweek matches in 1974, well Radio Luxembourg used to give the results at about 10:30pm after the news bulletin - again, if you were lucky to get decent reception.
Thank God for mobile phones and the internet!
21 Posted 10/10/2020 at 12:45:29
Yes he was popular wasnt he?
If Davy goes we all go, on that sign.
His answering machine had the message: I cant answer right now, Im upstairs combing my quiff.
That was when he was really knocking on, and his quiff remained very impressive. I think he kept playing football until late in life.
When he went into hospital with his heart trouble, I was in one of the lounges on the Saturday, on a freebie. Duncan McKenzie was going round telling everybody that Dave had a stent put in, and he was going to be ok. He had a worried face and so did those he was telling, young and old. He was stopped umpteen times as he crossed the room, such was the concern.
I took my son Andy to the cup semi final at Elland Road in 95. Davy came out of the players entrance onto the car park, well before kick off.. I introduced Andy to him. He made such a fuss of him, and spent a fair bit of time talking to him and telling him how important the Cup was always to the club. He still talks about it 25 years on.
22 Posted 10/10/2020 at 15:07:24
23 Posted 10/10/2020 at 16:13:30
24 Posted 10/10/2020 at 16:18:28
25 Posted 10/10/2020 at 17:29:16
Ive done a bit of rudimentary digging, and it seems that Bill Bothwell was also Tranmere Rovers Chairman.
I didnt know that.
26 Posted 11/10/2020 at 01:09:05
Made it back to your coach, everyone talking about the game, until that bit of music kicked in, then silence as the scores were given out, with an almighty roar or groan, depending how our neighbours got on.
27 Posted 11/10/2020 at 01:15:53
Good fortune and the 1983, buzz, who knows, what can happen this season.
28 Posted 11/10/2020 at 02:00:46
29 Posted 11/10/2020 at 08:22:29
No wonder I cant remember the 60s!
30 Posted 11/10/2020 at 09:23:22
Be a good boy, stay quiet, dont upset them and take the stick. Evertonians having a laugh is killing them, but only some of them...If you know what I mean!
31 Posted 11/10/2020 at 20:05:12
I can remember the first indication of how we had done was on a teleprinter on Grandstand. Even then, I used to turn the sound down on the TV in case we lost and the same with the other lot in case they won.
32 Posted 13/10/2020 at 21:42:56
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