Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Radio Daze

Johnny remembers one of the early masters of radio

Johnny Pundit: Video killed the radio star
Johnny Pundit: Video killed the radio star
Hillman Imp: To infinity and beyond!
Hillman Imp: To infinity and beyond!
Archie Turnbull: No sheepskin coat for him
Archie Turnbull: No sheepskin coat for him
Funny old thing, Football. For instance, the technology that accompanies the modern game. Commentating in the 1950s bears about as much resemblance to nowadays as a Hillman Imp does to the Space Shuttle.


I remember taking part in one match which, it turned out, was being covered by the Light Programme's Archie Turnbull (Archie, in fact, later went on to recruit my old chum mate Fothergill). Now, I'm not saying technology was primitive then but when, ten minutes in, Archie's microphone packed up, his only option was to trot down to the pitch, borrow a loud hailer off a copper on a nag, and stand near the pitchside mikes and belt out his commentary.
There were one or two drawbacks to this. The first immediately came apparent: the crowd, delighting in the sight of 'The voice of football today' striding up and down the touchline and barking excitedly into a megaphone, took to singing some pretty fruity songs at his expense (duly picked up by the one mike still in action). The second drawback involved a six foot five centre half called Alf Blows.

Commendably dedicated to journalistic truth, Archie bawled: "AND ANOTHER POOR CLEARANCE FROM BLOWS. I DOUBT HE'LL STILL BE WITH CITY NEXT SEASON." Unfortunately, as Archie was standing next to him at the time, the loud hailer all but pointing straight down the player's earhole, Archie shouldn't have been surprised when Blows turned to him, gently freed the loud hailer from his fingers and jammed it, upside down, onto his head. As Fothergill was later to remark, Archie looked a right dunce.

Always check your equipment, friends.

Till next time,
Johnny Pundit

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