50 years of Match of the Day

Kenneth Wolstenholme kicked off a new television programme on 22 August 1964. Five decades on, and ahead of a special BBC documentary marking the anniversary this Friday, Kate Youde offers 50 facts and figures behind the nation's favourite football highlights show

Fans' favourite The current theme tune, written by Barry Stoller, made its debut in the 1970 season.

6.2 million The peak audience in recent years was achieved on 5 February 2011, a day that saw 41 goals in eight Premier League matches – a record for a single day.

Shooting star Coventry City's Ernie Hunt was the first Goal of the Season winner, at the end of the 1970/71 season.

Strike action MOTD was off air in 1983 between 15 October and 19 November due to industrial action at the BBC.

Transfer deal The programme moved from London to a new studio in Salford in November 2011 as part of the BBC's relocation north.

Red and yellow cards The programme was first broadcast in colour on 15 November 1969, showing Liverpool vs West Ham.

Game changer Jacqui Oatley became MOTD's first female commentator on 21 April 2007, when she covered Fulham vs Blackburn.

43 years... and counting John Motson's time so far on MOTD. He made his first appearance on 9 October 1971 and is the show's longest serving commentator.

More matches During the 1983/84 season, the Saturday night highlights show was supplemented by live matches on Friday evenings.

iPlayer debut MOTD was available on the online platform for the first time in the 2013/14 season.

5.5 million Last season's peak audience was achieved on 22 March 2014, when comedian Russell Brand was a pundit as part of Sport Relief.

London club When MOTD launched on BBC Two in 1964, the channel was only available in the capital.

Switching sides After starting off on BBC Two, the programme moved to BBC One in 1966.

Equal match Celina Hinchcliffe became the first female presenter in February 2005. Gabby Logan has since become a regular substitute for Gary Lineker.

Fixture change After 16 seasons in the Saturday night slot, MOTD moved to Sunday afternoons in 1980 but was back to Saturday nights for the 1980/1 season.

Going live The programme went live and was based in a studio from 1969, rather than being pre-recorded at the ground of the featured match. This was because there were then two games shown each week.

Winning start Manchester United were the champions the first season MOTD aired – 1964/5.

Chiles play MOTD2 was first broadcast on 15 August 2004, presented by Adrian Chiles. Mark Chapman now presents.

Meet statto Albert Sewell served as MOTD statistician for 37 years between 1968 and 2005, by which time his records included 24,000 player transfers and 6,400 managerial changes.

Name change The programme became Match of the Day – Road to Wembley from the 1988/1989 season as, for the first time since its inception, it couldn't broadcast league football. Instead, it had a four-year contract to show the FA Cup.

Balls-up Alan Hansen uttered his infamous "you can't win anything with kids" line in reference to Alex Ferguson's young Manchester United side on the opening day of the 1995/6 season. The team went on to win the league.

Extra time Cross-platform Sunday lunchtime chat show MOTD2 Extra aired for the first time on 22 September 2013.

Crowd pleaser PRS for Music revealed in May 2010 that the MOTD theme tune was the most recognisable in the UK.

Kitted out The National Football Museum in Manchester displays one of John Motson's famous sheepskin coats.

Junior ranks MOTD Kickabout, a weekly preview show for younger fans, launched on CBBC on 8 January 2011.

14 Editions broadcast in 1986/87 as highlights were out of fashion. The only league action came in the seven live games on Sunday afternoons.

Change to line-up Grandstand presenter David Coleman joined Kenneth Wolstenholme as a regular MOTD presenter in 1968 and presented the show until 1973.

Poet's corner Des Lynam, who served as the main MOTD presenter between 1988 and 1999, recited Rudyard Kipling's poem, "If", to close coverage of the final of France '98 – his last World Cup as MOTD presenter.

Top shot The Goal of the Month competition was introduced in 1970, with members of the public sending thousands of entry postcards to the BBC.

New formation A new show was introduced in 1992/93 for which presenter Des Lynam was joined by new regular pundits, Alan Hansen and Trevor Brooking. The show reverted to the classic format of extended highlights from three main games but viewers were also able to see the goals from all the other matches.

500th edition of the show aired in 1977.

Substitutes' bench As well as main presenter Gary Lineker, occasional presenters now include Ray Stubbs, Gabby Logan, Mark Pougatch, Dan Walker, and Mark Chapman.

Pilot show Kenneth Wolstenholme, who presented the show between 1964 and 1969, had served as an RAF bomber pilot during the Second World War and flew 100 missions by the age of 23.

Rights wrangle Rights have switched around broadcasters over the years, meaning MOTD has not always been able to show league highlights.

5,000,000 Viewers in MOTD's first four years.

Match notes "Drum Majorette" by Major Leslie Statham, the former Welsh Guards' director of music, was the original theme music. Statham wrote under the name Arnold Stock.

Blocking tackle In 1965, some clubs tried to bar MOTD cameras, fearing television coverage would hit ticket sales. The BBC had to agree not to show footage before 10pm.

Ahead of the game MOTD offered goal-line technology in its studio 32 years earlier than its first appearance in English football in August 2013.

Premier in The television rights for the new FA Premier League were decided in May 1992, with each club having one vote. The BBC gained the Saturday night highlights as part of a five-year deal.

Slow motion In 1968, the BBC had one HS100 instant slow motion machine but it was three years later, in 1971/72, that the MOTD team used the technology as part of its analysis.

Live coverage MOTD's first live league game aired on 16 December 1983, when Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2.

Player-turned-presenter Gary Lineker has presented the show since 1999. He and Ray Stubbs regularly stood in for Des Lynam during the 1998/9 season.

7m The show's current regular audience across a weekend including iPlayer viewings.

5 Main MOTD presenters over the years – Kenneth Wolstenholme, David Coleman, Jimmy Hill, Des Lynam and current post-holder Gary Lineker.

20,000 The audience which tuned in for the very first MOTD, for highlights of Liverpool's 3-2 win over Arsenal – was less than half the attendance at Anfield.

1m+ The number of people who tune in weekly to MOTD2 Extra via BBC1, Radio 5 Live, and the BBC Sport website.

22 The number of years Alan Hansen spent as a pundit. His first MOTD appearance was in 1992 and his last, not counting the World Cup from Brazil, was on 11 May 2014.

15 years – Jimmy Hill's record stint from 1973 to 1988 as main presenter, before he took a punditry role.

2,000 The approximate number of games on which John Motson has commentated for MOTD.

Sources: The BBC and 'Match of the Day: 50 Years of Football' (BBC Books)

Arts and Entertainment
Britain's Got Talent judges: Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral