Charlie George slamming the ball past Ray Clemence in the Liverpool goal before celebrating horizontally on the Wembley turf. All that was still to come when the Radio Times was published for the week of 8-14 May 1971, but the big day was still looked forward to with the traditional customary air of excitement and anticipation.
On the front cover, Steve Heighway and John Radford added a splash of colour (the latter cut out and superimposed as if running in a trench) while the headline informed us that all the action from Wembley would be 'Live on Grandstand' and BBC Radio 2.
And what a schedule lay in store for us on BBC1. Cup Final Grandstand began at 11.45am (following The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?) and was introduced by David Coleman 'direct from Wembley.' Providing capable punditry and gobbits of relevant anecdotage were Manchester City manager Joe Mercer, Leeds United manager Don Revie and Manchester United captain Bobby Charlton.
|'Who'll win the Cup?'|
Arsenal, but we didn't
know it yet...
The 'Goal of the Season' was announced at 12.45 along with the lucky competition winner who scribbled it down on his/her postcard. A £300 cheque was the prize for choosing Ernie Hunt's donkey kick volley in correspondence with Grandstand's panel of experts - a staggering amount that in today's money is equivalent to more than £3,600.
At 12.55 it was time for 'It's a Cup Final Knockout' featuring two teams representing Arsenal and Liverpool, led by disc jockey Pete Murray and actor Anthony Booth respectively. The show was hosted by David Vine who, let it be remembered, was the presenter in the early days of It's A Knockout before Stuart Hall made the programme his own.
By 2.25, kick-off was within tantalising reach and all the pre-match protocol was in full swing. The Band of the Coldstream Guards were doing their thing, the crowd was in full voice and the Duke of Kent was busy shaking the hands of the players out on the pitch. In the blink of an eye, the match would be played, won and reflected upon as David Coleman rounded up the best of the action and interviewed the key players - all in time for tea.
|'Are goalkeepers crazy?' Who better|
to provide an answer than Bob
Clemence, by contrast, was younger and seemed merely happy with his achievement of breaking through the talented ranks at Anfield to earn a regular spot in the team. He refers to his close friendship with Larry Lloyd and their scrupulous adherence to the same pre-match rituals ("We always order breakfast at exactly the same time, Larry always gets up, makes the tea and brings in the papers... Then we go out for a ten-minute walk.")
Taking superstition to the extreme, Clemence was happily cosseted in his own footballing world, however his comments about Charlie George bordered on the flippant: "...From what you see on television, he seems to be a bit erratic. He must have been booked two or three times and he hasn't played for all of the season. I've never faced his shooting, but he certainly hit that goal against Newcastle pretty well, didn't he?" Probably best to keep that in mind for the Final, Ray...
Of course the main purpose of the Radio Times was (and still is) to inform us of all the top programmes appearing on BBC TV during the coming week. In this issue you might have singled out The Andy Williams Show and The Good Old Days as special highlights to look forward to, or perhaps an attempt at brand diversification in the form of A Question of News. Presented by Richard Baker, this was a short-lived attempt at replicating the success of A Question of Sport which, at that point, had been running for just over a year.
|Green Cross Code: Stop,|
Look, Listen, Think.
Finally, to round off this issue, there's the customary saunter through the many pages of adverts, and what better way to teach our kids road safety skills than with a relatively new campaign called 'The Green Cross Code'. Dave Prowse in a green-and-white superhero suit was still four years away at this point, but like Gerry Francis looking from side to side in all his interviews, there was more than one way to tell kids how to cross the road.