MOTD: half-a-century of a
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It has long been one of the highlights of my weekend. Something to look forward to and for me, a weekend doesn’t feel complete without it.

Can you believe Match of the Day celebrates its 50th birthday this week? A TV show that has bought joy (and pain) to many a household.

There cannot be many TV shows that still have the original theme tune? Coronation Street and Doctor Who are the only others I can think of.

It was back in 1964 that MOTD first hit our screen, in black and white and only to viewers in the London area on BBC2.

Thankfully, because of things like our World Cup victory in 1966, the show moved to the mainstream.

Growing up, my earliest memories are of excited Saturday evenings, being allowed to stay up extra late to watch Jimmy Hill and John Motson et al.

Back in 1981, muddy pitches, hideously short shorts and bad hair were the order of the day. There were those bright orange balls on snowy days and Pompey rarely featured.

Tottenham and Ipswich were my favourite top flight teams with players like Glenn Hoddle and Paul Mariner.

ITV had a rival. Remember The Big Match with the excellent Brian Moore?

I’m sure he was the busiest man on TV. He’d commentate on the big match of the day (pun intended) and would then host the show itself.

As time passed, money brought The Big Match to an end with the last Division One match in 1992 and Sky Sports took over.

But for me MOTD continued to thrive. From Des Lynam to Gary Lineker, friendly hosts with no nonsense. And there was the trusted punditry from the likes of Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer cementing the show’s legendary status.

Today, I simply don’t have enough time to watch the plethora of live matches on Sky Sports.

I’d rather see highlights of all the games instead of just the big teams playing every week.

This gives you a better overview of how the league is shaping up, telling the whole story.

So this Saturday I will be there to help celebrate the show’s 50th birthday, singing along to the theme tune.