Leicester City vs Man United, 1976: Video

Usually during international breaks I find myself having more time to reflect on the Premier League, what it is and where it came from. After crawling around YouTube, I uncovered the above video which I thought would be eye-opening to many readers of EPL Talk, to have a better idea of what English football used to be like as well as how it was produced for television.

In this example, Granada Television presents “The Kick Off Match,” a weekly highlights show featuring, in this episode, Leicester City against Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1976. Gerald Sinstadt opened the programme and commentated on the match in a program that feels very 1970-ish.

In this match, there are several legends from the 1970s playing including Frank Worthington, Jimmy Greenhoff, Sammy McIlroy, Steve Coppell, Alex Stepney and Gordon Hill.

What are the interesting observations you notice about the game, the style of play and the TV production? Click the comments link below and share your feedback.

Frank Worthington
Steve Coppell
Alex Stepney
Sammy McIlroy
Gordon Hill
Jimmy Greenhoff

10 thoughts on “Leicester City vs Man United, 1976: Video”

  1. I’ll start with the most glaring difference: everyone is white and British (probably English, I’d reckon). I’ve seen highlights from a decade later that were the same. I suspect that didn’t really change until the advent of the PL.

    No kit sponsors. Back passes to the keeper legal. It’s not enough of a sample to determine how different the style of play is or isn’t compared to the standards of today.

    The production is basic. One camera, one angle, one replay (marked with that quaint ‘R’). No Fox Box or other graphic to indicate score, time, and half. Looks like a film camera, too, although that might just be because it’s for the highlight show. I couldn’t say what kind of feed was provided for live television.

  2. There was full defense for each set piece (all 10 were behind the ball). I don’t know if that was a general trend or just for this game. It made playing the ball out of danger less effective.

    Leicester had the long throw. It was interesting to see legal backpasses.

    The all white and British was very glaring.

  3. Those guys were much better athletes than today’s players.

    I make that statement based on the fact that despite numerous kicks, bumps, etc. not one player ever went to ground. Every single “victim” kept to his feet and continued play. What agility. What skill. Absolutely amazing!!!

  4. Everyone minus the referee had the same hairstyle.

    No one was flapping or flopping about. Players would either take or avoid the contact and keep going, rather then looking for or embellishing it. I didn’t see anyone rolling or crying on the ground. Players were interested in playing the game, not the referee.

    Seemed to be less emphasis on crosses and the wide game, more play down the middle.

    1. Good point about the lack of crosses, Jose. So many games these days are boring and predictable when you see teams floating the ball into the box and the defenders knocking the ball away.

      The other interesting thing I noticed is that when it was a throw-in, you didn’t get players from both teams raising their hand to convince the referee it was their team’s throw-in.

      The Gaffer

  5. Found it interesting that both teams were wearing dark colored kits. It’s my understanding (and I could be totally wrong) that American sports primarily wear dark and light uniforms to allow people watching in black & white to differentiate the teams.

    Now, there aren’t many b&w pics anymore, but I’d imagine a lot of people were still using b&w tv in 1976…I remember them being fairly common well into the late 80s.

  6. Ok, strange thought here, but I kept thinking how much the announcer sounded like Eric Idle when the Pythons used to do the sports skits, esp the football match btw the greek and german philosophers

  7. Baseball had different home (white) and away (gray) jerseys long before anyone had an inkling of TV. Usually that is what what the light and dark colors represent, although with the advent of alternate uniforms, that can no longer be taken for granted. But generally in the US that’s what the colors mean, although it’s not standard across the leagues, since in the NHL and NFL the home team wears dark or colored uniforms, whereas in MLB and the NBA it usually wears white or light colors.

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