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Gathered round a radio, hushed with baited breath
For the Sports Report refrain that meant so much.
A knowledge of the British Isles from names
With no other recognition – Walsall, Tranmere,
Crewe Alexandra – and those strange Scottish
Teams; Alloa, East Stirlingshire, Brechin City.
From a few hundred souls to the big city clubs –
Equality and fraternity under the microphone.
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No information overload, no saturation TV –
The chattering teleprinter on Grandstand was
All you had to go on. That agonising moment
When your team was away, and their fate
Rested on an endless pause – relief, score draw.
Classified results, a days’ ups and downs
In stark letters and numbers on the screen;
There was always a late kick off from Stoke.
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Then the reports, shots of emptying stands
And wobbly captions giving all the goals.
Commentators in sheepskins did interviews
In familiar surroundings – no corporate
Sponsor boards smothering the backdrops.
Match of the Day meant two games only,
And how you looked forward to it –
Less was more in those far-off times.