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JAG, R.I.P.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 East Fife four, Forfar five
Mythically announced
Scores read out one and all
From the winners to the trounced

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Sports Report was an institution
As was James Alexander Gordon
Who with his enigmatic enunciation
Was our revered results warden

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 So gifted his inflection –
The outcomes he would teasingly imply
We sadly acknowledge that there’ll never be another
As we fondly bid : goodbye

James Alexander Gordon,
born February 10 1936, died August 18 2014

May he Rest In Peace

The legendary result of the first line : happened (in reverse) in the 1963/64 season, i.e. it was Forfar five, East Fife four.

And JAG only started on Sports Report in 1974, so he would never have actually announced it!

On the BBC tribute video, he reads it out off air and says “I’d love to do that one!”

He had this gift of conveyance, that you could guess the result just from the rise and fall of his delivery.

Eric Morecambe would never address him by his name, but always by that first line of the poem above!

My favourite obituary piece:

By Alan Tyers in the Telegraph:

“Evidently, the Edinburgh-born broadcaster was blessed with a lovely voice, at once lilting and authoritative, but it was his delivery that made him such a beloved institution for 40 years on the BBC. An accomplished musician, he imbued football scores with rhythm and melody, and turned each individual result into a self-contained little drama: set-up, suspense, pay-off, triumph or disaster. Each and every one was delivered with a craftsman’s precision, the timing like a perfectly engineered watch.”

Alan also enlightens the urban myth:

“His white whale became the unimprovable scoreline of “East Five four … Forfar five”, but despite the football-loving nation joining him in willing it to happen, he never managed to land it. There was considerable excitement back in October 2011 when the teams, hardy perennials in Scotland’s lowest league division, played a thriller in which East Fife led Forfar by four goals to three in the second half. It was not to be and, now that Forfar Athletic have ascended to the dizzying heights of Scotland’s third tier, we pin our hopes on cup games.”

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/jag-r-i-p/