Brian Moore Saved Our Sundays

Interview transcript with Author Matt Eastley

What we do on The Curran View, we look at a book every month, and then we hook up with the author of that book.

And this month, it is Matt Eastley, who’s written a fantastic book about a book that’s been published by both one of the all-time great commentators and presenters, Mr.

Brian Moore and how he saved our Sundays.

Before we get into how you got hold of the title and what you’re doing now, talk to us about who Matt Eastley is.

Who’s Matt Eastley?

That’s a big question, Paul.

You just asked me there.

Who’s Matt Eastley?

Well, I was born in the greatest year of the 20th century, 1966.

I’m a World Cup baby, also a huge Beatles fan, and that was the best year for the Beatles, I think.

So I grew up on the borders of Kent and South East London.

There’s only one club you can really follow, in my view, for where I’m born, and that’s Charlton Athletics.

So Charlton Athletics fans from a very, very early age.

Trained journalist, writer, author, broadcaster.

Written a number of books, actually, Paul.

Written a series of books about the FA Cup through the eyes of fans that were there.

I did all the cup finals in the 60s, 70s and 80s, about tracing lots of fans who were at those games.

It was actually called When the FA Cup Really Mattered because I think I felt quite strongly that the FA Cup had lost its glamour.

I know we still get that thing.

I’m very close to Maidstone United, actually, so I’m just talking to you after.

Maidstone United probably disproved that theory about the FA Cup.

So I’ve written a number of books, but I’m really interested in that sweet spot of, I guess, of my childhood, 70s, 80s, the great players, in the days of kind of three, four channels, pre-internet, pre-Premier League, really, just so many others seem to heart back.

And I’ve just written a series, you know, my books have usually been of that ilk, really, Paul, except for the one I wrote about the 1966 World Cup final where I traced loads of people who went to that game.

It’s called 66 on 66, which was thoroughly enjoyable.

I didn’t go down the usual route of interviewing players.

I meant for kind of fans, photographers, police officers, members of the band who were there on the day.

And so that’s kind of really, I guess, if I’ve got a kind of USP, if you like, it’s a trawl in that kind of period, 60s, 70s, 80s, for personal memories, really, of football matches and just kind of growing up in nostalgia, I guess, really.

That ticks every box.

That’s kind of who I am.

That ticks every box for me because that’s pretty much who I am.

When I see a 70s book or a 60s book, 80s and yeah, OK, 90s, before the Premier League, it really gets my juices going.

I’m not a great lover of the modern game.

No, not me.

I watch it.

We do The Curran View with Terry Curran, but it’s very retro as well.

We do always look back.

We have a Legends Lounge.

I’m really interested in those FA Cup books.

We have featured them on The Curran View before.

What other books have you?

Have you?

Have you featured them?

Yeah, we have.

There was one about the 70s, wasn’t there?

There was one the 60s, one the 70s, one that if it’s the series that I’m thinking of.

So the 60s was called from Barry Stobart to Neil Young, the 70s was called from, who was it?

Oh God, from Rodney Radsby to Roger Osborne.

That’s the one, yeah.

Oh, you’ve done them have you?

I’m flattered.

I’m flattered.

And we’ve previously done a book corner with my football books, but Andy sadly doesn’t do it any longer, but we made 15 podcasts and your books cropped up quite often in our talk in our football books.

Well, I’m chuffed that they’re finding an audience of people who appreciate them because I sometimes think you’re ploughing a bit of a lone thorough, Paul.

You know, you think, the people as nerdy as me are obsessed with this.

I guess I’m obsessed by the minutiae of it as well and I kind of really want to research the life out of these subjects, but I like to go for a slightly left field view and the other thing I do is I always talk to people who were there if possible, you know, to fans who were at the games.

I’ve done the same thing with this book about Brian Moore.

I should add actually, Paul, why it’s very much about Brian Moore and Brian Moore’s sons and family are so supportive, it is looking at the whole spectrum of regional televised football in the sense, I look at every single region, Anglia, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees, Central, sorry ATV as it was, you know, in your case, been a Brummie, you know, Hugh Johns, Hugh Johns’ son has been wonderful to me and continues to be.

So I’ve had buy-in from all these people that have told me first-hand accounts of what it was like to work on The Big Match or star soccer as it was in the Midlands, people like Martin Tyler, Gerry Harrison, Gerald Sinstadt I was very lucky to speak to before he sadly passed away.

So I’ve really spoken to a lot of key people.

As I say, in the course of the time Paul, a few people sadly have died because it’s been a project quite long in the making really.

How long has it taken you to make it?

Well, I mean, the actual idea came about 10 years ago because one of the things I should have said is actually I’m a big supporter of non-league football.

So while child and athletics is my side, my sort of non-league side is Tumbridge Angels in the National South.

And I’ve been following them a lot.

And you might know that Martin Tyler is quite heavily involved in kind of non-league football.

He’s basically been an assistant manager.

And I got talking to him once when he came down to Tumbridge.

And just through that, I was very interested about his time on LWT and The Big Match.

And I did a series in Back Pass magazine looking at every region.

And so I covered every single region and during that.

And so really this book is a kind of a kind of culmination of all that work, but very much a kind of fresh approach to it.

And so, but that’s going back about 10 years.

So it’s been kind of 10 years in the sort of making, but really, I didn’t really start working on it in earnest until about two years ago.

And kind of brought it all together because all the interviews that I did and all the information takes so much time to research.

And I’m probably guilty of over researching this, if you like, if you can over research.

So if you can pitch, I’m like wallowing knee deep in Rothman’s Football Yearbooks and looking at old stuff on YouTube and going through every season of every, every regional television, thinking about the great highlights, the great characters.

People like Stan Bowles, of course, who just died, growing up watching The Big Match.

Players like Stan Bowles were really kind of big for me.

If I wasn’t a QPR fan, but he was a player that kind of The Big Match really brought to life and players like Trevor Booking and Charlie George at Arsenal.

So it’s been sad to, in a way, it’s been very sad writing this because so many of those great players are no longer with us, but so many more are.

So there’s sadness mixed in with the pleasure of revisiting all this time really, Paul, I guess.

So why and how was the focus on Brian Moore?

And also as well, you’ve got the, that was the regionalised stuff was on ITV, but we had in the August of 1964, the year of my birth, Phil Chisnell of Liverpool kicked off Match of the Day.

Of course.

So we had the BBC and we had ITV, but we had great commentary and it was, it was very similar in the format.

But how did the formats differ for the different regions?

Because on the, with your, the Big Match in the London area, they seem to have more players in the studio talking about the game.

We didn’t have that at Star Soccer.


Well, I mean, first of all, Paul, it’s a very good point you make about the kind of the Big Match and the Big Match in 1964, sorry, sorry, the Match of the Day when it started in 1964.

When the Big Match and all the LWT, all the ITV franchises were redistributed in late 60s.

LWT decided they wanted to do everything that The Big Match did.

They wanted to really, really modernize television, televised football.

So they brought in much kind of younger producers, directors.

Bob Gardham is a name that people should know, but Bob Gardham was really the director that produced the blueprint for the way football is televised today.

He did all these things like close-ups of players, interesting angles.

The way football was produced by LWT and The Big Match was absolutely revolutionary.

More tabloid, if you like, than the kind of BBC.

In terms of what was different, LWT was by far the biggest region and by far had the most money.

Now LWT, because it was based in the capital, and it was able to throw more resources, but that didn’t always sit comfortably with every region, certainly a region like Grenada with Gerald Sinstadt.

But really the key character in Grenada was a gentleman called Paul Doherty, son of Peter Doherty, the former Manchester City player, who was the producer and director.


But Grenada resented LWT’s domination, so they really worked hard with Kick Off and Kick Off Match, which was the region there.

In answer to your question, much lower budget in the Midlands.

I’ve spoken at Great Lens to Gary Newborn and Hugh Johns’ son Mark Trevoreese, people like that told me it wasn’t a studio, it was done from the ground, it was a piece of camera, interviews done at the ground, much lower production value.

So LWT had the kind of money and the resources.

And the thing is, Paul, the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon programme gave the regions a lot more time than BBC did to craft a show and bring in those regional highlights and have things like studio guests.

Jimmy Hill’s analysis in 1968 was also revolutionary for its time.

So that kind of in-studio analysis was all new.

And there were various attempts to emulate.

Of course, Jimmy Greaves came to star soccer in 1980.

But LWT was very much the kind of the leader.

That said, there were some excellent, excellent programs, football programs being produced around the network.

And it was this unique Sunday spot that it had, which I think sits so comfortably with so many of us.

And so many people associate Sunday football with Sunday roast, for instance, Sunday roast dinner, or coming back from the pub, watching the game.

Because it was Saturdays, Sundays in the 70s, in Britain were pretty boring, really.

I mean, I had to go to church, which I write about in a book, actually.

It’s not about me, but as a demonstration of how bland most Sundays were.

And then you had this great explosion of television, these great soundtracks after all sitting down to lunch.

And you have these great players like Stan Bowles, Frank Worthington, who do you support, Paul, by the way?

I am a Birmingham City supporter.

I write a lot about Birmingham City in there.

Bob Hatton, Trevor Francis, Bob Latchford, all these great players.

I mean, that Birmingham side was fantastic.

That brilliant blue with the white big block down in Latchford when he first came on.

I’ve forgotten what a great player Bob Hatton was, actually.

Some of his goals were on star-soccer rapsic quality.

These Sunday programs brought these players to life.

They made stars locally.

You hear things like in Yorkshire or Tyneties, whole city players like Chilton and Wagstaff, who became stars locally because regional television made them stars.

I think you got that from Tyneties, players like Malcolm McDonald and John Tudor or Billy Hughes at Sunderland, Middlesbrough with Adam Foggen, John Hickson, players like that, became stars in their own right because of regional televised football.

Of course, we grew to love our own commentators.

Hugh Johns, absolutely fantastic commentator, Gerald Sinstadt, Martin Tyler and Keith Macklin in Yorkshire, Gerry Harrison, they trip off the tongue.

People remember these players.

I’m sorry, I’m talking a lot, but you can probably tell I’m a bit passionate about this subject.

So, if you’re trying to get a word in edgeways there, Paul, please do ask me another question.

I love people that are passionate.

You’re that passionate, you’ve written books.

My job is just to metaphorically hold a microphone and you just do all the talking.

Well, I’m happy to do that.

I didn’t want to hog the mic, but I’ll talk all day about it.

It was an absolute labour of love.

I’ve got to say, the buying I’ve had from people like Martin Tyler, Jim Rosenthal, being fantastic with their time, Gerry Harrison in Anglia, fantastic.

And as I was able to build the trust of people within the industry, people opened up their contacts book to me and said, yeah, this is his number, this is his number.

So, I was able to get right to the heart of these programs, talk to people who were involved in them, both on screen, in the production team behind it, or on the mic, which has been an absolute pleasure.

To hear stories like Gerry Harrison telling me about broadcasting from Chelmsford City in the FA Cup in 1973 against Ipswich, or Norwich City, players perched in Norwich City, had to perch right behind the goal in the early days.

And just these little quirks of their patch used to go round, and the little ways that each region worked.

You know, Gary Newbon, he’s got some great stories.

And yeah, absolute pleasure.

And I do tell a little bit about the kind of the history, if you like, of Televice, you mentioned 1964 and the match that they launched.

It was a huge, huge opposition to Televice football.

People forget how strong it was.

The football authorities were absolutely terrified of Televice football because they thought it would kill the game.

They thought it would stop people coming through the turnstiles.

Not really understanding the power of television to popularise football and actually make want of people want to go.

And I’m sure you were saying, I went and watched a game of football, it didn’t stop me watching it.

In fact, you’d make sure you watched it the next day.

You go to a game and you say, I remember that bit happening in the game.

But the football authorities, particularly Alan Harzaker, were dead set against football.

And the region that really pioneered Televice football was Anglia.

They were the ones that really spearheaded it.

And the others kind of followed Anglia TV.

When Sir Ralph Ramsay was at Ipswich Town in the early 60s, Anglia TV managed to get an agreement with Ipswich Town to televise a few games.

And somehow the FA relented.

And that was kind of a genius out of the bottle at that stage.

There had been sporadic, occasional games before.

They also had the Cup final and international games, but league football was not really televised at all.

I mean, there were exceptions, but it was Anglia that really kind of opened the door.

And I think the late 60s was kind of the right time for it.

Just before colour TV.

That’s another big thing.

Colour TV was massive in televised football.

So all these things were coming together.

You know, England winning the World Cup in 66.

You know, again, was an elevation of popularity.

Colour TV coming in the late 60s.

And this new kind of breed of younger journalists and TV executives who kind of made these great programs.

So it was all coming together, Paul.

And that’s where programs like The Big Match came from.

But going back to what you said about Brian Moore, the reason it’s called Brian Moore saved my Sunday, saved our Sundays is because growing up in Kent, London borders where I did, we had The Big Match.

That was it.

So we had The Big Match.

That was our main match.

We got our main match from Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham, Chelsea, Palace.

If we were lucky, they come down to Charlton Valley once a season.

But that was our bread and butter.

And Brian Moore for me was the face and voice of my Sunday.

And I loved Brian Moore as a figure.

He was one of those people that to me said that everything was well with the world.

What I didn’t know, and I’ve learned subsequently from his sons, that Brian was a great warrior.

He was a great warrior.

He used to worry about everything.

He used to worry about no tourist for getting to grounds early because he was absolutely terrified he’d be late.

And I don’t think Simon or Chris or his sons, I’ve got to know very, very well, would mind me saying, he was a great warrior.

But he didn’t show it.

He was an absolute consummate professional.

And I really liked him because that’s a bit of a cliché, but he was like your favourite uncle or your favourite teacher at school.

You know, he had that kind of warmth about him that just said everything was well with the world.

And I think he was also a fantastic commentator.

And he was a fantastic presenter.

And he was a fantastic journalist.

And those three things are skills which everyone thinks they can do, but they’re really, really hard.

And he made it look easy.

But he was brilliant.

And he was the voice of my…

You know, I’ve got a few voices in my childhood, but he’s definitely, definitely right up there as one of them.

And then of course we’d get another match.

And then if we’re lucky, we get Hugh Johns coming from St Andrews or Villa Park or Highfield Road, Filbert Street, wherever we get, you know, we get…

And it was always, you know, what’s the next game going to be?

Where is it going to be?

Are we going to get Gerry Harrison?

Are we going to get Kenneth Lawson home up in Tyne Tees?

Are we going to get Keith Macklin?

Are we going to get Gerald Sinstadt?

Are we going to get Roger Malone down in HGV doing Bristol City or Bristol Rovers?

Are we going to get Martin Tyler doing a Southampton or Portsmouth game?

So it was always that kind of sense of jeopardy, if you like, that where are we going to go?

What’s, you know, as a kid, I mean, that to me was just so exciting.

But I also, Paul, think it’s a little bit more than just pure football.

And again, for me, it’s a little bit, and this is where it gets a little bit more conceptual.

It’s about kind of nostalgia and family, Sundays being with the family.

Not everyone had great childhoods, I accept that.

But for me, it was about Sunday roast.

And it was a safety.

It takes me, and I think this is why it holds a special place in so many of our hearts, is that Sundays of our childhood were kind of a safe place, I think.

I feel so anyway.

It’s time spent with family and football.

To me, I think Sunday, because Matt Lorenzo, the Skyblow says every time he hears Brian Moore’s voice, he can taste roast beef.

So people kind of link the two together.

They link Sunday lunchtime football with being with the family and having their roast dinner.

I think it’s a different time.

I think Pax Perkel did have spent time with the family more.

I think it’s that kind of these old programs sort of get near the sweet spot of our childhood upbringing and all these things are mixed in together.

Food, family, Bob Latchford, Bob Hatton, you know what I mean?

The great theme tunes of the Young Scene, which was the original Big Match one, and then it was taken over by possibly the most famous, well, there was one called Cheeky Bird in between, but La Soiree, which is the famous…

that one, which everybody knows.

Everybody knows as well as The Big Match.

You must have had one in Star Soccer as well.

Yeah, I’m trying to think the Star Soccer one.

I mean, Match of the Day was Barry Stola’s, wasn’t it?

Barry Stola, yeah.

Before that, see, that was sparked by ITV having considerably better theme tracks, because I think the original one was something called Drum Majorette, the original Match of the Day, and they changed it in 70-71, the Match of the Day, because with Stola it’s fantastic.

Is it onside or offside?

I think it’s onside.

Yeah, it’s either onside or offside.

We don’t know what on and offside is these days, so I mean, how can we remember the 70s?

No, precisely, precisely.

But everyone knows it was a fantastic theme tune.

But that was in response to the brilliant theme tunes that were being used by the ITV networks.

Because ITV, in everything, in its imagery, in its titles, its opening credits, its music, the way the programs were put together, was so much more sharper, dynamic and modern than match of the day.

Going back to your initial question, it was actually written by a couple of German guys, I think, Varda and Konrad, Wolf and Varda, I.

Think, or Wolf and Baden, but under a pseudonym of a single guy’s name, called David Ordini, but that was actually a pseudonym for two German bandleaders, so they wrote that great Big Match theme tune.

And of course, you know, the famous Bob Stokoe canter on to the pitch after the 73 FA Cup final.

We’re going to embrace Jim Montgomery.

He’s cited by people in TV industry as one of the greatest bits of football direction ever.

And the commentator and director working in harmony to understand what was going to happen.

So Gardner as the director held that shot at the end of the 73 final because he thought Stokoe was going to do something interesting.

And he did.

And he ran on to the pitch and embraced Montgomery.

I understand BBC actually missed that.

But that was that was that was Gardner’s intuition as a as a great director.

Of course, that was the they were the images that accompanied that great feature.

So all these things added up to quite a potent mix.

It was it was it was quite a special program.

And yeah, I mean, this book is really a celebration of all that Paul, to be honest.

Now, in the central area, it was ATV Today back in those days.

And it was Billy Wright.


Who was the anchorman?

Gary Nubon was.

Yeah, Gary Nubon was just coming into it.

But he was the great Billy Wright and one of my customers actually owned the house that Billy Wright used to stay in when he came up from London to do Star Soccer.

And I remember, yeah, Trevor East, who used to do a thing like with the dancing footballers in the Midlands area as well.

And they would put that to music.

I remember Alan Hudson because I do a load of podcasts with Alan.

And he said, Gary Nubon did something in the way he moves the Shirley Bassey to Alan Hudson, the way that, you know, when he was playing at Stoke.

And we did in the Midlands, it seemed to be it was either Blues or Villa or Albion.

And then we had a couple of games away from home, which would be Blues, Villa or Albion.

So it seemed to be really centralized with Derby County, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest.

So it was it was always one of our teams away and a team that was at home.

And I think the format was always three games.

But again, it probably was a lot different.

But when you look at the amount of characters that we had in in those days, it was almost like the perfect storm.

I’m not sure it would happen today like it did then.

As you alluded to, making stars of some players that you wouldn’t necessarily see.


Like your children and Wagstaff.

You know, players like Tony Curry at Sheffield United.

What a player.

It was superb.

But I mean, also, again, you buy patterns, people like that, people that are currently a bit late in the decade like Ian Wallace and Ian Ferguson.

You know, and I mean, of course, what a great period it was for the Midlands as well.

You know, Derby and for Star Soccer, Derby winning the title in 72 and 75.

Birmingham, you know, great season, getting promotion and that really good side.

Villa, of course, went on to win the title.

By the way, this is being done in two or three volumes.

My first volume actually only takes us up to 75.

So because there’s so much information.

So I’ve done season by season every region.

I’ve tried to cover as many clubs as I can and it’s rammed with names of players and many I’d forgotten actually.

But it’s been a joy just to kind of watch these players.

I’m thinking now of Birmingham, the likes of Pendry and Calderwood and Roger Hynde.

You know, these kind of players that, you know, I hadn’t forgotten about.

But it’s great to see them again and just to remind you what…

Keep going back to Bob Hatton.

I saw Bob Hatton score two or three goals.

He just took brilliantly and sometimes Hatton was overshadowed by Latchford and Francis.

What a player he was, you know.

And that’s the joy of something like this.

And I think these regional programs made, as you say Paul, made stars of these players, the flamboyant players, like your Georges and your Bowles and all this.

And that lead side, Lovenmore and Lotham of the 70s, Yorkshire TV made massive stars out of those players.

That’s the Clark, Bremners, Lorimers, Giles, all that team.

And they were great for Yorkshire TV.

And Keith Macklin, not so many people remember Keith Macklin, but he was a very, very good commentator up until 1976 when Martin Tyler got the Yorkshire gig.

But Macklin was the commentator for the first eight years really.

Fred Dynage, the great Fred Dynage, there’s another good one for you.

Paul Smith fan, isn’t he?

Paul Smith fan, but he’s from, he’s from Birmingham, I think he’s from Sutton Coltrane, isn’t he?

And of course, Danny Blanchfail was the first commentator for Yorkshire TV in 68.


So all these things that, you know, come out of the woodwork, if you like.

And yeah, I’ve had, you know, it’s been great to see.

Some great stories as well, you know, dogs on pictures, you know, floodlights going out, the orange ball coming out, you know, and, you know, special guests, the Christmas specials that The Big Match used to do when you’d have people like Elton John or you’d get people like Terry Venables, what the Marsh presenting the show, Kevin Keegan, you know, and Christmas specials and the fun spots.

It sounds a bit like we’re talking about the dance, you know, fun spots where they’d play, you know, they’d play, they’d speed up some film and put some silly music over it.

All the things that the BBC wouldn’t do.

And the ITV kind of wallowed in that unashamedly that BBC wouldn’t do it, but we’re going to do it because we think our viewers will love it.

And that was very much the, and let’s not forget Paul, there was a lot of snobbery around, a lot of people, there’s a lot of families that didn’t watch ITV.

They were seen as, you know, sort of a middle class thing, I think.

But I know we don’t watch that, we watch the BBC, you know.

You know, we watch the match of the day.

And ITV were having to contend with that.

And BBC kind of was the famous punch up after the 69 Cup final between Leicester and Manchester City, because that was all about the kind of TV companies, the BBC and ITV, wanting first sort of interview rights with the winners after the game.

That ended up with a big punch up in the tunnel.

So the rivalry between…

BBC would definitely, their noses would put out a joint by ITV and these, frankly, quite excellent programs, these football, televised football programs that they devised.

So the book’s about that, but I go back to Brian Moore’s front of house for me, because he was my kind of icon, and the book finishes with a lot of tributes to Brian, who died far too young and, you know, cruelly just after he’d really hung up the mic.

But he was a good man.

I never met him, but I met his family, and I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about Brian Moore.

And I think he’s, I was pretty certain early on, he was going to be kind of on the title of the book, because he represents to me Sunday football.

He also represents a very, very good site to football, the site that we love.

There’s a sort of common decency about Brian Moore, a sense of right and wrong, which kind of appealed to me as I was writing this, because football gets a bad rep.

But he represented all the good stuff to me, and that’s kind of why I wanted him on the front of the book, really.

And on the ball with Brian Moore as well, they had that programme on the Saturday, didn’t they?

Which was the, you know, the equivalent to Grandstands’ football focus, with Bob Wilson being…

Well, football preview was his first call with Sam Leach, and then Wilson took over in 74.

Now, Sam Leach, he was the one that gave Alan Clark the nickname Sniffer.

You’re right.

You’re absolutely right.

Sam Leach was a very well-respected move into television.

Oh, I’m just losing you.

Oh, sorry.

Can you hear me?

I just lost you a bit then.

Yeah, he was hard as nails, Sam Leach, sort of pugnacious Scott.

But yeah, so football preview, he went head to head.

So on the ball, went head to head with football focus or preview, because it was exactly the same model.


On the ball was within World of Sport, and football focus was in grandstand.

But the big thing, of course, about on the ball was that they went to great lengths.

Brian Moore would be filmed at the ground where he was going to be commentating that day.

They went to ridiculous lengths not to reveal the identity of that ground.

This was again, was the paranoia that it would put people off if they saw where he was.

So every weekend, every on the ball, every Saturday became a bit of a game around the country about where was Brian Moore.

And you get little time.

So it would be a very, very tight shot if he was at Stamford Bridge or the Valley or Highbury or White Hart Lane or whatever.

It would go to great lengths not to reveal where he was.

And as a kid, I never, believe it or not, I never worked out where Brian Moore was on a Sunday.

When he gave his post-match report at 5 o’clock or 4.40 as it was on a Saturday afternoon, that was where the main match was coming from the next day on Big Match.

I never equated to two.

I still didn’t really.

I would now, it’s obvious, isn’t it?

But my brother who was six years old, he used to say, oh yeah, I know what the main match on The Big Match is going to be, Arsenal v Birmingham, Arsenal v Coventry.

I said, actually no.

He said, I just do.

That was because he’d seen Brian Moore too, but I never knew as a kid.

So it was always a big moment for me.

He says, oh, we’re going to be, we’re going to Upton Park now for West Anbury Derby.

As a kid, it was always a really big deal for me.

It was really exciting, you know.

But the whole thing was exciting.

The whole thing for me was really, really exciting.

And of course, there’s other programmes people remember.

I know this is about football, but stuff like Thunderbirds was on Sundays and those kind of things.

And that’s a great ATV production, of course.

So all these things.

And then we’d have The Persuaders afterwards, or The Protectors, you know, Avenues and Anyways, that Tony Christie song.

We’d have The Golden Shot, we’d have the Top 40 Countdown.

So it was all this kind of sweet, it all started happening for me after lunch on Sunday.

You just had to get through the morning and then you’d get the great football fix and you’d get things like The Golden Shot, you get Thunderbirds, even Black Beauty.

I love the theme tune to Black Beauty, that takes me right back, didn’t I, the programme, I love the theme tune.

So yeah, it’s kind of a celebration of all that kind of, the glorification of football on Sunday afternoons and an unashamed wallow down in nostalgia to the commentators and the programmes and the teams and the players that kind of illuminated our screens, if you like, in that sweet spot before the Premier League.

The years of sticker albums and Scorcher and Scorfer, and Shoot magazine and all that kind of stuff and league ladders in Shoot that I’m sure we all grew up with and love.

So it’s kind of about that really, Paul.

It’s been a hard road to put together, I must admit.

It was nearly, you know, it took ages, you know.

But I’m pretty pleased with it and I really enjoyed doing it.

I’ve met some fantastic people and I can’t speak highly enough of the families of Brian Moore and Hugh Johns.

And Margaret Sinstad actually, Gerald Sinstad’s widow has been wonderfully, wonderfully helpful.

And so many people have really, really given me their time and taken me right back.

And, you know, I was interested in how these programs were put together.

So the Big Match team has described, and I’ve had the shame, I’ve gone into that, you know, how was it put together?

How did you edit it?

How did you decide what games were going to be played?

And it was really hard work turning those programs around in time for Sunday afternoon, doing the editing.

And the Goal, they call it the Goal’s Exchange.

It would be about 8 o’clock every Saturday night.

All the regions would have what’s called an exchange where, say, LWT had their main match, which might be QPRV Burnley, for instance.

But they’d seen, okay, well, last night we were at Leicester and it was a 3-all draw, so we’ll take that, we’ll take six minutes of that.

And then, oh, we might have a bit, you know, Newcastle beat, I don’t know, Norwich 3-1, so we’ll take a bit of that from Tynetee’s.

So this was all going around, all the regions, ATV, you know, they might have Birmingham v Liverpool as the main match, but they say, okay, yeah, we’ll have a bit of QPR-Bernley as our second match, and we’ll have a little bit of Newcastle v Norwich as our third match, you know.

And that was being played out everywhere.

So it was like this network of film being transferred across the region late on a Saturday night, as all these different programmes were put together.

And I found all that fascinating.

You know, it might be a bit mechanical, but I love all that stuff, you know.

We were absolutely spoilt, you know.

Back in the day, we were spoilt.

Now it’s so homogenised.

If you’d look at Brian Moore, for instance, and you’d kind of try and guess what ground he was at these days, all the grounds look the same.

All the players play in the same way.

You know, the ball, it’s the same ball.

There’s no jeopardy.

The pitches are all the same.

The kits are almost the same.

There was iconic kits.

Crystal Palace’s kit, iconic.

And you hit the nail on the head.

You hit the nail on the head.

Kits, great kits, great badges.

You know, and that’s all included in this.

All those things, exactly right, Paul.

Those little things that might be lost in the sands of time.

Those great kits, as you say, Palace, Norwich, that wonderful yellow and green, looking great on these newly bought.

Coloured TV’s, you know, the black and white of Newcastle.

That’s probably sacrilege to a Birmingham fan, but the claret blue of Aston Villa, and the great Coventry kits, the light blue, Man City, blue V, Man City V of Man United, light blue, light red.

I know they’re still there, but there was something purer about the kits, the badges.

The Coventry, the Man United.

Everything was just pioneering, ground breaking, different, independent, everything that you would want.

A footballer would do something, you’d be mesmerised, you’d take your ball out on the playground, or over the fields, or the pitches, or whatever.

You’d put your jumpers down for goal posts.

We didn’t go on our PlayStation.

We never had a PlayStation.

We had a proper Wembley trophy, or a caser.

As soon as it was over, it was…

No, you’re absolutely right.

It was get the ball out, get your boots on, get out wherever you could.

Let’s replicate the goal.

We’ve just seen John Toschak score at Anfield, or whatever.

We say we were spoiled, though.

It’s interesting because you think, in some ways, Paul, we were watching what we were given when we were giving it.

But we still loved it.

But I think the sparsity of the material made it more special.

Now, we could watch five or six games a day if you wanted to, around the world.

Then, it was sparse.

It was very rare.

And so we enjoyed it.

We lapped it up.

That’s why you had to be in front of the telly at 2 o’clock on a Sunday.

Actually, you missed it.

Remember, we didn’t have video recorders until 79, 80.

So you missed it.

That was it.

It’s gone.

You’re not going to see it.

So you made damn sure you were in front of that telly and watching the game.

And it made stars of all these players, didn’t it?

And it was great.

And yeah, we’re sounding like what we are, aren’t we?

Middle-aged, nostalgic men.

As Paul Fletcher would say, we sound like a pair of old farts.

And we are.

We are.

But I’ll go back.

We’re out to be.


We lived through an age where the players, the players were one of us, they’d go to the game on a bus or, you know, park their car next to or live in the same street.

Not like nowadays.

They live in their gated mansions, on private drives we can’t even get down.

Different times.

We had to sit through the adverts.

But everyone knew the adverts.

The milk tray, Double Diamonds, Worthington E, Benson and Hedges.

All part of it.

All part of that Sunday experience.

All part of the nostalgic roller coaster.

If you like.

It’s really, really hard to recreate that with words.

But I’ve had a go.

Beer at home means Davenport, Southampton, Davenport, that was our number one advert during StarSoccer.

Yeah, because it was all the adverts that were directed to men.


But you could have your beer at home.

I mean, we used to have the big, what were they called?

They were almost like little kegs, wasn’t they?

Oh, Whatney Party Sevens.

Whatney Party Sevens.

We had to pierce them at the top.

Yeah, they were impossible to pour, weren’t they?

Yeah, and then you’d have like, you’d have them poured.

You’d literally, you’d go to the off-licence around the side of the pub and you’d have them fill up and you’d take your Davenports home and watch Star Saga.

Oh no, it’s happy days, isn’t it?

I just think it’s a romance that the kids don’t get today.

Almost like your vinyl.

There is a romance.



That’s a good word to use.

It is romance.

That’s what I was trying to…

It was a romantic element to this.

It might seem an odd word, but I think it’s actually the right word.

Romantic kind of nostalgia of all this kind of…

As I say, sweet spot.

Some sweet spot in our memories, our collective memories that we treasure.

And we wouldn’t have eradicated if our life depended on it.

They’re very, very special.

And everybody’s got a different memory of these programs.

Everybody’s got a unique experience about how they used to watch.

The version in Tiny Teas was called Shoot.

How they would shoot or the Kick Off Match in Grenada or Star Soccer in ATV or The Big Match.

Everyone’s got their own memories.

Every routine they used to have.

I remember my dad used to wash the car on a Sunday.

And he’d come in and after dinner, he’d want us to help be washing up.

But we’d go and watch the football.

And all these kind of people have got every…

But everyone’s got a memory.

Everyone’s got a memory of of their own personal experience of enjoying these programs.

And there’s a kind of innocence about it.

But there’s something glorious about it as well.

So that’s kind of what I was trying to capture, I think, with this book.

Which I’d say is the first of several.

So I ain’t finished yet.

So this first one, Brian Moore saved our Sundays, which is looking at regionalised TV programs.

That’s the first one.

That’s coming out 20th of May, isn’t it?

Yeah, 20th or 24th of May.

Yeah, certainly about that time.

And it’s published by the wonderful publishers, Pitch and Publishing.

Did Duncan come up with the artwork for you, Frank?

Yeah, Duncan Olner.

He’s brilliant, isn’t he?

He’s a genius.

I really like that.

Did you get much time talking to Duncan?

I’d love to do a podcast with Duncan.

I mean, I look at so many of Pitch and Publishing and I think Duncan’s an absolute genius.

The way he gets that front cover and you just go, that’s just genius.

And we haven’t even mentioned Cluffy, have we?

Because the cover of, I’ll buy more, save our Sundays, has got Moore talking to Brian Clough, got two Brian’s and that’s very much kind of, puts it right in that period.

Because Cluffy, of course, was massive.

Going from Hartlepool to Derby, and he was very much in that period.

He was like everywhere in the early 70s.

And Gary Newbon will tell a great story about, he was the only person he knew that could stop it.

Because in those days, every club had a really big social, really busy vibe and social club that was packed before games.

I’m sure Birmingham might have had one, you know.

And he said, Cluffy was the only person he knew that when he came on the box, he could silence an entire room, that people would stop drinking their pints or smoking their fags and have a look at the box.

Because he could do that.

Cluffy had that kind of ability, if you like.

So he’s kind of all over the book as well, the kind of controversies that he got involved in.

So yeah, I mean, it was, I hope people enjoy the book.

I mean, it’s as much as I enjoyed writing it, because it was, as I say, it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s a real labour of love and one that, I think my wife would be glad to see the back of it, because she hasn’t seen me for about six months.

But she said, are you still writing about football again?

Yeah, so I said, why are you watching, she goes, why are you watching York City v Southampton from 1971?

And it’s not an easy one to answer, I have to say.

I just am, you know.

Well, you talk about Brian Clough there.

The managers were bigger Mavericks than the Mavericks at times.

We’ve got Malcolm Allison, we’ve got Big Run, who come a little bit later.

We had so many, Bill Shankly, of course.

Shanks, we had Tommy Doherty.

Matt Busby.

Busby Doherty, yeah.

And they stayed around, didn’t they?

Your club would have the same manager throughout the decade.

Now they’ll have three or four managers in a season.

That’s right.

You had Freddie Goodwin at Bermonday, you had Tony Waddington at Stoke.

Legend, Waddington.

Yeah, absolutely.

Jimmy Bloomfield.

Bloomfield at Leicester.

Managers like John Bonds, went from Bournemouth to Norwich.

Of course Bobby Robson, you can’t forget the things he did at Ipswich.

Yes, indeed.

And of course, you mentioned Malcolm Allison.

Malcolm Allison was one of the great moments on The Big Match.

A massive great row with Alan Mullery just after the 1970 World Cup.

Allison and Mullery had a proper spat on telly with Jimmy Hill sort of refereeing.

I don’t think you’d get nowadays.

There’s a rawness and an honesty.

Everyone’s tiptoeing around each other.

Then it was, they were just going for it.

You know, and it was really refreshing.

And again, that’s the sort of thing that ITV did.

They wanted that edge, they wanted that edginess to its programs at the BBC.

The BBC was always very safe.

I’d never not match the day because it’s an iconic, it’s an iconic program in its own right.

And it’s a fantastic program, but it wasn’t edgy.

It was very, very highly produced and brilliant with great commentators.

I mean, I got to know Barry Davis really well.

Barry Davis, what a fantastic guy he is.

And John Motson before he died, they’re great commentators.

And it was a great program, but it perhaps didn’t have the edge of ITV, which pushed the envelope out a little bit more.

Did you cover Alan Mullery when he was mic’d up in 1982?

I haven’t got to that yet, but I will be, don’t worry.

I’ll be doing that.

That will be in a subsequent volume.

Don’t worry.

No, I’ve got…

See, the thing is, Paul, there’s so much material out there that, you know, I could probably do ten books.

I’m going to want, because probably people will get sick of it.

But there’s so much material out there.

And yeah, I certainly will be doing Mullery, being mic’d up in a subsequent edition.

But the Mullery, Alison Spatt was a memorable moment on The Big Match.

The two of them were just like throwing, just really going for it.

And it was all televised and it was great.

And the LWC loved all that kind of stuff.

They loved controversy.

Not for the sake of it, but they knew that’s what the viewers wanted.

They knew that football created stories.

And it wasn’t just about watching 20 minutes highlights.

There were offshoots.

There were things to discuss.

And their view was, they wanted to know what are people going to be talking about in the classroom, the factories and pubs tomorrow?

Because we want that on our programme.

It’s a bit like the approach taken by Talksport today.

They don’t always get it right, but they understood the talking points that people want.

They will be talking, did you see that great goal by Stan Bowles?

Did you see that fantastic overhead kick by Frank Worthington?

All that kind of stuff.

They played on that and did very well, I think.

Going back to Mullery and Malcolm Allison, that was an overspill from the 1970 World Cup.

Malcolm Allison was quite critical about one of Mullery’s performances in that World Cup.

Again, it spilled over and they invited them both.

They knew what was going to happen.

Mullery’s no shrinking violet and Big Mal, Fedora and the cigar, he was a larger than life character.

They knew fireworks.

Get them in the studio.

They didn’t disappoint, did they?

Basically, Allison was saying, I don’t think you’re a world class player.

You’re not as good as the likes of overplay.

He said you’re not as good as Ball or Bell.

It almost felt like you were spying on a well between two people, but it was televised.

That was great.

I played that in full.

It was such dynamite television.

I thought that one was quite a big bit of coverage.

Malcolm Allison, as you say, what a huge character he was.

Again, made for television.

Fedora, the big sheepskin, the big furry coat, the big cigar, you know, he made his name really on that 70 World Cup panel with Derek Dougan and Bob McNab and etc.

which took the whole concept of a panel, dragged it into the modern age.

That’s the template for the kind of modern panel that we still see to this day.

It wouldn’t have happened.

But that was all there with WT.

I think that was the idea of John Bromley and John Bromley was head of sport at ITV and Jimmy Hill.

That was their idea, you know, get these big characters on telly talking about the game.

And it was brilliant.

It worked fantastically.

And I have to say Brian Moore orchestrated that panel brilliantly because he was almost like a kind of referee arbiter.

He let them just give him enough flexibility or space to really say what they wanted to.

But he didn’t let it spill over.

And again, that was a mark of him as a great broadcaster and journalist, actually.


So you’ve got this first book coming out.

When are the follow up books going to be coming out, Matt?

I’m sorry, Paul.

I just just lost you there.

When are the other books going to be coming out?

So this one, first one comes out May.

In May.


To be decided, Paul, I need a bit of a rest now.

Got you.

But I will be doing it, well, basically when I write it, is the answer to that.

So I can’t give you an answer, but don’t worry, I’ll let you know as soon as I have time.

So the second half of the decade, again, a whole new set of players come in, your Hoddles and your, who else was in their second period?

I mean, the great Nottingham Forest side, of course.

And Liverpool’s ascendancy, you know, to the top, the likes of, you know, Keegan really becoming a great player.

We’ve got the Argentinian angle arrives in 78 with Adilis Villa.

So you’ve got all these kind of things happening in the 70s.

International players start to come and TV loved all these kind of things, you know.

And, yeah, one of the players I really enjoy watching, he’s remembered just what a great strike of Malcolm McDonald was actually the first time to Newcastle.

What a player of Malcolm.

Was a great TV because he was actually quite eloquent and articulate.

He didn’t, he’d say what he thought, you know, he said, we’re going to thrash Liverpool in the FA Cup final in 1974.

And of course they didn’t.

He actually didn’t say that, you know.

No, he didn’t.

But he worked for The Sun, didn’t he?

That’s right, absolutely right.

And it was a ghost written with one of the hacks up there.

But Liverpool and the media copped hold of this.

And really turned it into something that Malcolm actually never said.

In fact, Malcolm is probably the only footballer that turned up at the new ground in his signing on fee, which is a great story that Malcolm told me.

When he transferred from Luton, he was driven up in a Rolls Royce.

When he’s turned, the fellow, I think he was a director, or a friend of a director at Luton Town, he’s driven him up and they pulled over, and this is Roy, you get in the back now.

You get in the back, Malcolm.

And then he was to come out, got his hat on, and he opened it up, Malcolm come out to be greeted by the press.

And his mate, who was one of the journalists up there said, this is the only player that’s ever turned up and he’s signing on for it.

They thought it was Malcolm’s Rolls Royce, but again, I mean, what a lip.

And he always went to sleep, you know, before the game of football.

Yeah, and of course, I mean, just that great home debut, that hat-trick he got against Liverpool in one of his early games in September 71.

What a fantastic bit of TV that.

And great goals by Macdonald and all.

Of course, in that 74 cup run, he was on fire.

He didn’t turn up for the final.

Well, every round.

Yeah, those two great goals against Burnley in the semi-final.

You know, it was a fantastic player.

So, you know, those players, it’s been…

And Rodney Marsh, you know, particularly in his early days at Cupid.

I didn’t do it so much for Man City, but some of the goals he used to score in his early days in the late 60s, early 70s.

Again, another player that The Big Match, when it was in black and white, actually, made a star of people like that.

Martin Peters, some of those goals he got at West Ham, you know.

I mean, just brilliant.

The atmosphere you can hear on those coming out of the stadiums, those, because the mics was quite loud.

I love it all that.

I love it.

We’ll never get it back.

We’ll never get these days back.

They’ve gone, but we cherish them.

We have to retain them, and that’s kind of where I’m coming from on these.

Absolutely, and I’m looking forward to purchasing your book, or the people that want to purchase the book.

What’s the easiest way for them to hook up with you and buy your book ultimately?

Well, I mean, Amazon or Foodpitch website.

I mean, you know, they’re the two ones, and it’s going to be, you know, I’m told it’s going to be in all the shops as well.

Smith, and other good booksellers, as they say, you know, but all the usual locations, Paul, the book will be available.

And I hope it will be enjoyed by people.

That will be my, that’s my desire.

It’s not a thing, I don’t think, it’s not about being successful and selling millions, but if it brings joy to a few people, then I’ll be really pleased.

It’s certainly going to bring joy to me.

You’ve brought joy to me in this podcast.

Can I thank you so much for your time, Matt.

And guys, you can, I’m guessing, pre-order now, because pitch usually do a pre-order, so you can pay your money upfront, get it into the top ten, get it being talked about as well, because I think it’s going to be a bestseller, one of the bestselling books of 2024, and I’m already looking forward to part two, Matt.

So thank you very much, sir.

Thank you, Paul, pleasure.

Thank you for having me on.

And your Facebook and Twitter accounts before you leave me, because people are going to say, Paul, how can we link up with Matt now?

Just say thanks for writing this book.

The retro market, I think is a great market.

And I think there’s so many of us older guys that love to look back and read all these various publications.


Well, just Matt Eastley on Facebook, be my guest to join up.

And a rather strange, I’ll call it ME Vinyl Revival on Twitter.

ME Vinyl Revival.

That’s another great level of my life is music and collected vinyl records.

So ME Vinyl Revival.

You’ll find me on X, as I think we call it now.

I don’t know what that’s all about.

I still call it Twitter.

No, I don’t either.

I think everyone still calls it Twitter, don’t they?

But hopefully people will find me on there.

So feel free to hook up and follow me.

And I’ll follow you back.


Well, thank you for your time again.

And pass on our best wishes to all at Pitch.

Keep on publishing fantastic publications so we can read all about those halcyon days of the golden age of football.

Cheers, mate.


Thanks, pal.

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