GROWING up during the 1990s meant you were spoilt for voices of football.While John Motson and Barry Davies were still jostling for the main Match of the Day mic, the late Brian Moore remained dominant on ITV until his retirement in 1998 and Martin Tyler was establishing himself as Sky’s sound of the Premier League.
Even Kenneth Wolstenholme, whose clipped tones filled the BBC airwaves on the day England won the World Cup in 1966, was winning a new generation of admirers as one of the contributors to Channel 4’s Football Italia.
However, I was most envious of the voice that belonged to the man who read the classified football results.
Tim Gudgin may not have delivered lines like ‘They think it’s all over’ or ‘It’s up for grabs now’, nor screamed ‘AGUEROOOO ’ during a title-decider, but the fate of clubs in the British leagues every Saturday at 5pm lay in the distinctive rising and falling intonation that he and his radio counterpart James Alexander Gordon perfected over the decades.
Gudgin became the regular reader of the Saturday afternoon results on the BBC’s Final Score show in August 1995 following the illness and subsequent death of Len Martin, who had performed the role since 1958, and his first score was one of the most notable during his 16 years in the post.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson had replaced Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis with members of the ‘Class of 92’ such as Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and David Beckham, but a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 season prompted Alan Hansen to declare on Match of the Day that ‘you never win anything with kids’; United would end the campaign as Double-winners for the second time in three years and go on to win an unprecedented Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 1999.
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