Robin Scott-Elliot: Around the grounds, from Cities to Towns, it's what BBC Sport does best

View from the Sofa: 5 Live Sport, BBC

It will become known as the Fir Park puzzle, a conundrum to test any football administrator, even Stanley Rous, the administrator's administrator, who earned the ultimate administrator's accolade in having an oddity of a trophy named after him. Motherwell were supposed to be playing Dundee United only for a powercut to cause the match to be postponed. It was close to kick-off so the ground was already filled with supporters but because there was a powercut the PA system didn't work and so the supporters could not be told the game was off. They may still be sitting there.

One story from one afternoon of listening to the weekend's football the best way, via the radio. It is what the BBC does best across its entire sports coverage – the straightforward Saturday afternoon, bouncing around the grounds. Mine is perhaps the last generation whose introduction to football is founded on the radio – wooed by the wireless across the darkening hours of an autumnal Saturday afternoon, for a time even being one of those World Service listeners welcomed to the Hawthorns, Highbury or Highfield Road for the last 20 minutes. The World Service gets a little longer these days but there is still that moment when its arrival is announced and it conjures images of distant places. It is a journey of the imagination, from Carlisle equalising to Rochdale losing and Stirling Albion leading Rangers – it means something to someone somewhere.

Its hegemony has been challenged, brutally so, but 5 Live, for all its irritations across the rest of its schedule – beginning immediately afterwards with one of its moronic phone-ins – remains the best place to lose yourself on a Saturday afternoon. In part it is the mystery radio brings – no videprinter, no idea what is happening until told "there has been a goal at…"

It provides a thread through a sporting life, informed by Peter Jones, blessed by Bryon Butler, irritated by Stuart Hall – and that irritation would be missed if it wasn't (still) there. Now there seem worthy inheritors of a rich tradition in the likes of John Murray.

Sky's Soccer Saturday is untouched on TV. Possibly in years to come people will have warm memories of Chris Kamara, and smile fondly in recalling Paul Merson's weekly wrestle with his native tongue. But it still screams at you what football has become, a sport it is increasingly difficult to feel at ease with.

On the radio you journey unseeing from Saints to Rovers to Uniteds to Cities and to Towns, the core of a country. If you don't see you can still believe; and then you hear of grim events at Millwall, more allegations of racial abuse and the afternoon attempt to escape from a 63-page report into a former England captain racially abusing an opponent in 2012 is harshly thwarted. And you remember that this used to happen much, much more and you think how far we have come, and you wonder how much further we have to go, and you worry we couldn't really be heading back to the future, could we?

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London