A special edition for Russia 2018 takes in TV Aztec Gold, classic commentaries and songs you probably want to forget
1) Let’s start with some TV gold. The greatest ever World Cup TV theme tune, hands down, is Silsoe’s Aztec Gold, used for Mexico ‘86 by ITV. Sorry, BBC. Decent effort that year but your entry holds nowhere near the nostalgic melancholy of its competitor. More Mexico memories: Ian St John is caught on candid camera as Scotland exit after a 0-0 draw with Uruguay; Terry Venables in a clear case of tapping up as he and Gary Lineker review the final with Lawrie McMenemy looking on for BBC; Brian Clough channels Frank Sinatra.
2) From the previous Mexico World Cup, in 1970, a presenter duo of Jimmy Hill and Brian Moore attempt to control a studio dream team of Brian Clough, Big Malcolm Allison, Derek “The Doug” Dougan and Paddy Crerand. Four years later, with Hill having gone to the BBC, Moore presides over a panel of Clough, Allison, Crerand and Bobby Moncur. It also features an uncomfortable set-piece between Sir Alf Ramsey and Helmut Schön. By 1978, the ITV team has been pared down to Moore and the twinned perms of Andy Gray and Kevin Keegan. Pushing on 12 years, the BBC’s review of Italia 90 is an hour-long joy.