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
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
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.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...