ITV Results Service (ITV, 1985-1992)
I was never any good at sport, it’s just one of those things that I can’t do. However over the years I have watched a lot of sport on TV so here are my memories of a particular programme that I remember watching.
On Saturday afternoons many years ago, before Sky Sports and the Red Button, if you wanted to find out the football results you had to wait until a short programme on ITV at 4.45. Although I’ve never particularly followed any clubs I do remember watching this so I went on YouTube to see if there are any episodes on there. I was pleased to discover that there are a few so for my review I have selected the edition shown on 10 February 1990 which was uploaded by “CentralSouth5” so credit goes to them.
Of course the BBC had their own version of this show featuring the Grandstand vidiprinter which I also remember and will be reviewing in a future edition. After ITV’s World Of Sport ended in 1985, the football results continued as an individual programme until 1992 when the Premier League launched. It was hosted by Elton Welsby who was ITV’s main football presenter at the time, he was essentially the Adrian Chiles of his day.
It begins with the ITV Sport symbol introduced in 1989 and then we get the title sequence which isn’t computer-generated so it looks old-fashioned even by 1990 standards, but it is accompanied by some funky music. Also featured in the titles are other sports including horse racing, but I’m fairly sure that the show only ever covered football results.
So let’s find out what’s currently happening in Division One as the results come in. We are shown some of the latest scores, look, Gary Lineker’s scored his 19th goal of the season. Then we are shown some highlights from a match. I’m fairly sure that ITV didn’t have an evening Match Of The Day-type programme so this would be the most that would be shown of the matches on Saturday. ITV also showed live coverage of Division One games on Sundays.
Elton introduces coverage of Norwich v Liverpool with a terrific gaff, “as promised, the goals from Carrow Road now where it finished 0-0”. Martin Tyler is the commentator. Will this draw dent Liverpool’s title chances? (spoiler: no.)
After some more reports, we get the results. It’s interesting to look back at this era of football knowing what we know now, for example seeing clubs such as Millwall and Wimbledon in Division One who are long gone from the top flight, and clubs in Division Four such as Scarborough and Maidstone who have long since disappeared from the league altogether.
Then we get the Division One table but only the top six and bottom six and Elton tries to make sense of it all. The other tables aren’t even shown. Finally we get some more reports this time featuring a few pictures of goalscorers before being reminded to watch the League Cup semi-final first leg on ITV tomorrow.
This video was a great reminder of those days before Super Sundays and Massive Mondays when this was the best way on TV to find out the results.