Match of the Day has been a staple of British television since it first aired in 1964. In fact, the soccer highlights show holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running football television program in the world. The BBC have posted footage from their archives to YouTube, offering a fascinating look at how Match of the Day was made in 1974.
The video follows the production of a match between West Ham United and Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground in London for the finish of the 1974 league season. Footage takes viewers into the camera nests, commentary box and production vans at the stadium, as well as back at the studio as 90 minutes of game action is turned into around 25 minutes of highlights for broadcast.
Match of the Day 1974
In addition to the behind the scenes exposition, we catch a few fun glimpses of the match day atmosphere at Upton Park. There are shots of both sets of supporters on their way into the ground, signing on the terraces, and West Ham keeper Mervyn Day making a brilliant save on a Alec Lindsay PK attempt.
After the match, the work of editing the footage down for the evening’s broadcast is shown. Amidst the punchy sound of typewriters clacking away in the background, the studio crew is picking highlights to feature with the relatively new slow motion replay technology, positioning the cameras, setting up on-screen overlays, and rehearsing the script with host Jimmy Hill. The clip closes as the program’s delightful theme tune plays and the show goes live.
It’s a short watch – just under 15 minutes. And as a good bit of the footage is shown without modern narration, it acts as a fun little window into the early/mid 70s world of sports TV production and classic football in the UK. You can watch the entire mini-doc below:
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