On August 22nd 1964 the BBC launched a new weekly football series called Match of the Day: Liverpool played Arsenal, Kenneth Wolstenholme was the commentator, and television viewers entered a brave new football world. No one could predict that the fledgling programme, watched by 20,000 people would ultimately attract millions of viewers and would run for over a quarter of a century.
The '60s charts the development of the series when the game was blessed with true characters and outstanding players who became masters in gripping televised football. It was the era of Best, Law and Charlton, of Bell, Lee and Summerbee, of the mercurial Jimmy Greaves, of Shankly's Liverpool, Catterick's Everton and Sir Alf Ramsey's England.
As Match of the Day moved into the '70s it reflected the continued high profile of the nation's favourite sport. Over 32 million people watched Chelsea beat Leeds in the 1970 FA Cup Final replay and Match of the Day was now an essential part of the weekend's TV viewing.
The flair men still existed - Keegan, Hudson, Currie, Bowles, Osgood, Worthington and, of course, Best - filing the nation's screens with skill and daring, and replacing the innocence of the previous decade with a new brand of professionalism.
As Match of the Day took televised football into the '80s it brought new concepts for a new decade. Dominated by Liverpool whose roll-call of honours during the '80s was truly awe-inspiring, it was also the decade when Howard Kendall's Everton took their first League title for fifteen years and Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final.
It was the decade of Bryan Robson, Bobby Robson, Butcher and Beasant, Dalglish, Hoddle, Lineker and Rush - a decade of compulsive football action brought to millions of viewers by Match of the Day.