Home Page

The Big Match

London Weekend Football Highlights 1968-83
On 11th August 1968, two weeks after the channel had launched*, London Weekend Television were scheduled to screen the first ever edition of a weekly Sunday afternoon highlights show called The Big Match, the fixture list had conveniently thrown up a North London derby at White Hart Lane to be featured as the opening game (Arsenal beat Spurs 2-1) but industrial action meant that a repeat of an old match had to be screened instead. Once the programme did finally make it on to the air a fortnight later The Big Match would then feature London clubs playing at home for the next fifteen seasons.**

*Commercial television viewers in the London area had previously been served by ATV at weekends who had produced a Sunday afternoon football highlights show since October 1965 called Star Soccer, see here. From July 1968 ATV began broadcasting a seven days a week service to the Midlands, Star Soccer then continued as a Midlands equivalent of The Big Match - See here.
***The Big Match was also screened by other smaller regions who struggled to justify covering matches of their own.

LWT commentator and studio personal
Brian MooreBrian Moore (pictured) presented and commentated on The Big Match throughout its' entire run. Born on 28th February 1932 and raised in Kent, the Gillingham fan joined BBC Radio in 1961 and commentated on the 1966 World Cup final before moving into television with LWT two years later. Aside from Sunday highlights, he presented ITV's Saturday lunchtime preview sequence On The Ball as well as commentating on Internationals, Cup finals and Thames Television's mid-week highlights. For ITV's World Cup coverage, Moore anchored from a London studio leaving the other regional commentators to cover the actual games, but this arrangement changed in 1990 and he was behind the mic at England's semi-final v West Germany in Italy. By this time he had undergone heart surgery but continued to commentate for ITV until his retirement in 1998, his last match being the World Cup final in France which was won by the hosts. Brian Moore died on 1st September 2001 at the age of 69.
It was Jimmy Hill who had been responsible for bringing Moore to LWT, the ex-Fulham player was the channel's original 'Head of Sport' and from August 1968 until May 1973 he appeared alongside Moore in the studio as a ground breaking analyst on The Big Match. Hill then left for the BBC to become the face of Match Of The Day for the next two decades. In Hill's place came Derby County manager Brian Clough, but the Rams' chairman was unhappy with his manager's media commitments (and the inevitable controversy Clough's outspoken comments caused) and he asked Clough by letter to discontinue his newspaper and TV work, but Clough decided to resign from Derby and ended up at 3rd tier Brighton for what proved to be an unhappy spell, during which - in February 1974 - he was quoted as saying that "TV must be banned from the grounds for at least six months to see the effect on attendance's. I would like to see TV commentators - including myself - on the dole."
Jim Rosenthal (an Oxford United fan) began reading The Big Match football news round-up from the start of the 1980/81 season. Jimmy Hill died on 19th December 2015 aged 87.

The Big Match theme tunes
The original theme was a piece called "Young Scene" composed by Keith Mansfield which appeared on the 1968 KPM Library Music LP "Flamboyant Themes"*. The next tune - "Cheekybird" performed by The Don Harper Orchestra - was only used for one season (1972/73), then came the fondly remembered "La Soirée" theme composed by David Ordini, a single (performed by The Gary Mann Orchestra) was released on the Penny Farthing label on 26th October 1973 (cat no. PEN 820 with "News Scoop" (a version of the original "Grandstand" theme) on the b-side)**. The 4th and final theme was Jeff Wayne's "Jubilation" which was used from the start of the 1980/81 season and issued as a single on the Epic label on 26th September 1980 (cat no. S EPC 8941 with "Time Bomb" on the b-side)***.

*"Young Scene" is often attributed to The Graham Walker Sound (who did cover it), but his is not the version that was used on the programme.
** An alternate version of "La Soiree" was used on the programme from 1977/78 - 1979/80.
***At least one other region [Granada] also used Jeff Wayne's tune for their own highlights programme.

LondonThe Mid-Week Match & Midweek Sports Special
LWT held the weekend franchise for ITV London whilst the Monday-Friday service was provided by Thames Television (1968-1992) who were therefore responsible for covering midweek London matches. Midweek football highlights were mostly networked, originally under no specific title and then, by the end of 1974/75, as The Mid-Week Match before Midweek Sports Special was introduced for the 1978/79 season. Brian Moore was very much involved in both a presenting and commentary capacity, Jim Rosenthal was also a regular face in the studio in the 1980's. Midweek Sports Special wasn't just football, although this and boxing tended to dominate the programme.

The LWT region's league teams 1968-1983
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, West Ham United, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic, Millwall, Orient, Watford, Brentford and Wimbledon.
*Fringe clubs included Luton Town (shared with Anglia), Gillingham and Brighton & Hove Albion (shared with Southern/TVS) and Oxford United (primarily ATV/Central).

ArsenalBrentfordCharlton AthleticChelseaCrystal PalaceFulham

MillwallOrientQueens Park RangersTottenham HotspurWatfordWest Ham UnitedWimbledon

What matches were shown
The following lists detail all of the Saturday fixtures recorded by LWT for highlights on The Big Match, for full details of other region's matches go here. Re-edits of regional games included on The Big Match are, where known, indicated by a letter (G=Granada, Y=Yorkshire, T=Tyne Tees, H=HTV, M=ATV/Central(Midlands), E=(East)Anglia, W=Westward, S=Southern/TVS and X=Scottish). For midweek games (which were networked) go here, for full details of networked Wembley Cup finals go here and for European finals see here. Given dates are for when the match was played (not the broadcast). Non-London based matches are in italics.

Jimmy Hill, December 1969
TV Times entry for 25th August 1968 & Jimmy Hill on 28th December 1969

Season 1968/69
All editions of "The Big Match" during this season were broadcast in 405-line black & white on VHF only. Some programmes showed two matches including all FA Cup editions.
10/Aug    *No programme due to industrial action, intended to show Spurs v Arsenal, showed repeat of 1968 European Cup final instead
17/Aug    *No programme due to industrial action, intended to show Chelsea v WBA, showed repeat of 1968 League Cup final instead
24/Aug    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Bridges) Manchester City 1 (Doyle) *Brian Moore stated in his book that this was his first LWT match
31/Aug    Chelsea 2 (Birchenall, Osgood) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Greaves, Jones)
07/Sep    Oxford United 1 (Evanson) Fulham 0 +M
14/Sep    West Ham United 2 (Peters, Hurst) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Gilzean, Greaves) *archived
21/Sep    Chelsea 1 (Tambling) West Ham United 1 (Peters)
28/Sep    Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0
05/Oct    Watford 1 (Low) Luton Town 0
12/Oct    Arsenal 2 (Court, Radford) Coventry City 1 (Hunt) *Observer, Sunday Times & LWT log (NOTW lists Y only)
19/Oct    Chelsea 3 (Baldwin 3) Leciester City 0.
26/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 2 (Leach, Wilks) Manchester United 3 (Best 2, Law)
02/Nov    West Ham United 4 (Moore, Peters, Hurst, Redknapp) Queens Park Rangers 3 (Leach 2, Bridges)
09/Nov    Millwall 2 (Posse 2) Middlesbrough 0
16/Nov    West Ham United 4 (Dear 2, Woolett, Peters) Leicester City 0
23/Nov    Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 (Houseman)
30/Nov    Intended match Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers was postponed, showed T&M
07/Dec    Arsenal 3 (Radford, Court, Graham) Everton 1 (Ball)
14/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (England) Manchester City (Lee)
21/Dec    Luton Town 2 (Lewis, Allen) Plymouth Argyle 0 +T
28/Dec    Abandoned match - Crystal Palace 1 (Woodruff) Blackpool 1 (Suddick) *Abandoned after 43 mins
04/Jan     Charlton Athletic 0 Crystal Palace 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round]
11/Jan     Queens Park Rangers 1 (Clarke) West Ham United 1 (Dear) *archived
18/Jan     Charlton Athletic 2 (Treacey, Tees) Derby County 0
25/Jan     Arsenal 2 (Sammels, Robertson) Charlton Athletic 0 [FA Cup 4th Round] *ATV covered Spurs home tie v Wolves. +T
01/Feb    Queens Park Rangers 0 Everton 1 (Husband) *listed in NOTW, Observer & Sunday Times, LWT log incorrectly lists Arsenal 1 Forest 1
08/Feb    *Only 4 fixtures played today due to bad weather, all FA Cup R5 games postponed, probably showed Southern's match
15/Feb    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Clarke) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Greaves)
22/Feb    West Ham United 1 (Sissons) Liverpool (Hunt) *archived, ATV covered Charlton home game v Aston Villa
01/Mar    Showed Granada coverage of Manchester City 1 (Lee) Tottenham Hotspur 0 [FA Cup QF]
08/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Morgan) Everton 1 (Royle)
15/Mar    League Cup Final - Arsenal 1 (Gould) Swindon Town 3 (Smart, Rogers 2) *Networked highlights
22/Mar    FA Cup SF  *Networked highlights of Man City/Everton +T
29/Mar    West Ham United 0 Manchester United 0
05/Apr    Crystal Palace 3 (C. Jackson, Kember, Sewell (pen)) Portsmouth 1 (Jennings) +T
12/Apr    Arsenal 1 (Graham) Leeds United 2 (Jones, Giles) *archived, Leeds keeper Sprake hits Gould (caught on camera. Technical problems meant last 22 mins or so were not recorded) +G (goal only)
19/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Greaves) West Ham United 0
26/Mar    FA Cup Final *Networked live, Sunday "Big Match Special" showed highlights plus Alf Ramsey feature

Arsenal were London's highest finishing club of 1968/69 in 4th, it was the Gunners best position of the decade but they hadn't won a trophy since 1953, a 2nd successive League Cup final was lost in 1969 - this time to 3rd division Swindon! Chelsea and Spurs were close behind in 5th & 6th, Ron Greenwood's West Ham finished 8th but Queens Park Rangers, in their first ever season in the top flight, ended the campaign at the bottom of the league. As runners-up in the 2nd tier, Bert Head's Crystal Palace would be one of the teams replacing Rangers. Of the capital's other 2nd tier teams; Charlton finished 3rd (but only the top two were promoted in those days), Millwall were 10th and Fulham rock bottom (they would now play in the 3rd tier for the first time since 1932). Ken Furphy's Watford were champions of the old Third Division, Luton just missed out on promotion whilst Orient were a lowly 18th. Brentford were the worst placed LWT club finishing 11th in the Fourth Division. Topping the goalscoring charts at the highest level were Jimmy Greaves (Spurs) with 27 and Geoff Hurst (West Ham) on 25, Luton's Brian Lewis was joint top scorer in the 3rd tier with 22.

The Big Match 1968/69

Season 1969/70
All "Big Match" programmes up to 8th November 1969 were broadcast in 405 line black & white on VHF only. The programme went out at 3:15pm on Sundays this season and now showed action from three matches.
09/Aug     Arsenal 0 Everton 1 (Hurst) +E/G
16/Aug     Millwall 1 (Weller) Charlton Athletic 1 (Crawford) +G/M
23/Aug     Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Pearce, Chivers) +M/E
30/Aug     Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Crystal Palace 1 (Hoy) +Y/G
06/Sep     West Ham United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Pearce) +Y
13/Sep     Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester City 3 (Bowyer, Bell, Oakes) +G/T
20/Sep     Arsenal 2 (Graham, Sammels) Manchester United 2 (Best, Sadler) +M/E (M with Macklin's comm)
27/Sep     Chelsea 3 (Birchenall 2, Baldwin) Arsenal 0 +E/G
04/Oct     Queens Park Rangers 4 (Clarke, Clement, Bridges 2) Middlesbrough 0 +M/E
11/Oct     Tottenham Hotspur 0 Wolverhampton W. 1 (Curran) *Recorded in colour for test purposes +G/E
18/Oct     Chelsea 2 (Osgood, Cooke) West Bromwich Albion 0 *Recorded in colour +Y/T
25/Oct     Luton Town 1 (Tees) Torquay United 1 (Ryan(og)) *Anglia cameras were at Hull. +M/G/T
01/Nov    Crystal Palace 1 (Bartram) Arsenal 5 (Armstrong, Radford 3, Graham) *Recorded in colour. +M/S
08/Nov    Arsenal 4 (George, Sammels 2, Armstrong) Derby County 0 *Recorded in colour +E/T
From 15th November 1969 LWT officially began broadcasting on 625 line PAL colour on UHF, "The Big Match" was now videotaped and broadcast in colour every week.
15/Nov    Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Everton 1 (Husband) +G/E
22/Nov    West Ham United 3 (Hurst 2, Peters) Derby County 0 +G/Y
29/Nov    Showed Southern coverage of Southampton 1 (Gabriel) Crystal Palace 1 (Kember) *Intended Tottenham Hotspur v Everton was postponed, +G (both games in b&w)
06/Dec    West Ham Utd 0 Manchester City 4 (Lee, Bowyer 2, Doyle) *switched to b&w during 2nd half before last goal +M/G
13/Dec    Fulham 3 (Richardson 2, Earle) Bristol Rovers 1 (Jarman) +Y
20/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 0 West Ham United 2 (Peters, Hurst) +G/Y
27/Dec    Queens Park Rangers (Bridges 2) Birmingham City 1 (Page) *John Camkin commentated (Moore had flu), Hill presented.  +T/E
03/Jan     Chelsea 3 (Osgood 2, Hutchinson) Birmingham City 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round] +Y/T
10/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Greaves, Morgan) Derby County 1 (Carlin) +G *Extended 90 min edition including the World Cup draw
17/Jan     Arsenal 0 Chelsea 3 (Hollins, Hutchinson, Baldwin) +T/W
24/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 0 Crystal Palace 0 [FA Cup 4th Round] +G/M
31/Jan     Watford 2 (Eddy, Endean) Leicester City 1 (Glover) +G
07/Feb    Crystal Palace 1 (Hoy) Chelsea 4 (Osgood, Houseman, Dempsey, Hutchinson) [FA Cup 5th Round] +M/H
14/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Cooper(og)) Leeds United 1 (Lorimer) +G
21/Feb    Queens Park Rangers 2 (Venables(pen), Bridges) Chelsea 4 (Osgood 3, Webb) [FA Cup QF] +Y
28/Feb    Millwall 1 (Kitchener) Huddersfield Town 0 +T/Y
07/Mar    League Cup Final *Networked highlights
14/Mar    Chelsea 5 (Webb, Osgood, Houseman 2, Hutchinson) Watford 1 (Garbett) [FA Cup SF] *Networked highlights
21/Mar    Chelsea 2 (Hutchinson 2) Manchester United 1 (Morgan) +G
28/Mar    Crystal Palace 1 (McCormick) Ipswich Town 1 (Woods) +G
04/Apr    Chelsea 1 (Baldwin) Tottenham Hotspur 0 +G/Y
11/Apr    FA Cup Final - Chelsea 2 (Houseman, Hutchinson) Leeds United 2 (Charlton, Jones) AET  *Networked live, Sunday highlights
02/May   Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Gilzean) Arsenal 0 *a late outstanding fixture played after all other teams had finished their season.
                   highlights of 28/Apr Arsenal 3 Anderlecht 0 [Fairs Cup Final L2] also shown on this edition.

1969/70 was undoubtedly Chelsea's year, managed by Dave Sexton they were the capital's highest league finishers (3rd) as well as winning the FA Cup (knocking out Watford in the Semi-finals) whilst Peter Osgood was London's leading top-flight marksman with 23 goals. Spurs and Arsenal had disappointing league campaigns which saw them finish 11th & 12th but Arsenal finally won a trophy when the Fairs Cup was lifted at Highbury after the Gunners turned around a 3-1 1st leg defeat to Anderlecht, winning the home leg 3-0. West Ham ended the season in 17th and Crystal Palace just clung on to their top flight status in 20th (22 clubs in the top flight at the time). Alan Dicks' Orient were crowned champions of the 3rd tier whilst fringe LWT club Luton Town (managed by Alec Stock) were also promoted as runners-up with Malcolm Macdonald netting 25 goals. Other local strikers making an impression on the goal scoring charts included Barry Bridges of QPR and Steve Earle of Fulham who both found the back of the net 22 times.

The Big Match 1969/701969/70

Season 1970/71
01/Aug    Reading 2 (Habbin, Cumming) Manchester United 3 (Edwards, Charlton 2) [Watney Cup QF] *This didn't go out as "The Big Match", it was titled "The Watney Cup" with the 1970 World Cup theme tune
15/Aug    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Gilzean 2) West Ham United 2 (Greaves, Bennett) +M/Y (and one goal from E)
22/Aug    West Ham United 2 (Howe, Hurst) Chelsea 2 (Weller 2) +Y/T
29/Aug    Chelsea 2 (Hollins, Mulligan) Arsenal 1 (Kelly) +M/Y
05/Sep    West Ham United 1 (Moore) Everton 2 (Royle, Husband) +G/Y
12/Sep    Orient 1 (Parmenter) Sunderland 0 +Y/X (at Orient, players-officials and cameramen ran for cover during a torrential downpour)
19/Sep    Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Chivers 2, Mullery) +M/H
26/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers, Gilzean) Manchester City 0 +G/E
03/Oct    Fulham 1 (Earle) Plymouth Argyle 1 (Allen) +M/Y
10/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Peters) Liverpool 0 +Y/T
17/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 5 (Marsh 3, Venables, McCulloch) Birmingham City 2 (Latchford 2) +G/Y
24/Oct    Crystal Palace 1 (Taylor) West Ham United 1 (Howe) +G/X
An ITV technicians colour strike affected programmes until February, some highlights would now be recorded in black & white
31/Oct    Arsenal 2 (Kelly, Radford) Derby County 0 *black & white. +E/G
07/Nov   Crystal Palace  1 (Sewell) Leeds United 1 (Lorimer) *colour  +Y/E
14/Nov   West Ham United 3 (Best 2, Moore) Wolverhampton W. 3 (McCalliog 2, Gould) *black & white +G/Y
21/Nov    Luton Town 2 (Ryan, Givens) Portsmouth 1 (McCann) *black & white +G/E (Anglia were at Hull v QPR)
28/Nov    Arsenal 2 (Graham, Radford) Liverpool 0 *black & white +E/Y
05/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Peters, Gilzean) Manchester United 2 (Law, Best) *black & white  +E/Y
12/Dec    Watford 0 Luton Town 1 (Keen) *black & white +M/G
19/Dec    Chelsea 2 (Osgood 2) West Ham United 1 (Lampard) *black & white +M/H
26/Dec    Arsenal 0 Southampton 0 *Snow covered pitch. +Y/M
02/Jan     Crystal Palace 2 (McCormick, Birchenall) Chelsea 2 (Osgood, Baldwin) [FA Cup R3] *black & white, Brian Moore talks about Ibrox disaster. +M/E
09/Jan     Chelsea 1 (Hudson) Manchester United 2 (Morgan(pen), Gowling) *black & white +M/G
16/Jan     West Ham United 2 (Eustace, Brooking) Leeds United 3 (Giles, Hunter, Belfitt) *black & white +E/M
23/Jan     Chelsea 0 Manchester City 3 (Bell 2, Bowyer) [FA Cup 4th Round] *black & white  +M/Y
30/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers, Gilzean) Everton 1 (Royle) *black & white +Y/G
06/Feb    Arsenal 1 (Radford) Manchester City 0 *black & white +Y/T
ITV technicians colour strike now ended, all programmes in colour from now on
13/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers, Gilzean) Nottingham Forest 1 (Moore(pen)) [FA Cup 5th Round] +G/E
20/Feb   Queens Park Rangers 1 (Marsh) Hull City 1 (Wagstaff) +M/G
27/Feb   League Cup Final - Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers 2) Aston Villa 0  *Networked highlights
06/Mar   Showed Granada coverage of Liverpool 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 [FA Cup QF] +Y
13/Mar   Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2 (Graham, Sammels) +G/Y
20/Mar   West Ham United 2 (Greaves 2) Ipswich Town 2 (Bell, Robertson) +Y/M
27/Mar   Arsenal 2 (Storey 2(1pen)) Stoke City 2 (Smith, Ritchie) [FA Cup SF] *Networked highlights, BBC covered the replay
                   also Dagenham v Slough [Amateur Cup Semi-Final]
03/Apr   Arsenal 2 (Kennedy 2) Chelsea 0 +G/E
10/Apr   Gillingham 1 (Green) Fulham 3 (Johnson, Barrett, Conway) +E/M
17/Apr   Crystal Palace 3 (Birchenall, Tambling, Queen) Manchester United 5 (Best 2, Law 3) +G/M
24/Apr   Chelsea 2 (Smethurst, Feely) Coventry City 1 (Hunt) +E/T/M
01/May  Arsenal 1 (Kelly) Stoke City 0 +Y/G
08/May  FA Cup Final - Arsenal 2 (Kelly, George) Liverpool 1 (Heighway) AET  *Networked live, Sunday highlights

Bertie Mee's Arsenal won the double - League champions and FA Cup winners - and their captain Frank McLintock was named 'Footballer of the year'. The double was achieved thanks to Charlie George's strike in extra-time in the Cup final v Liverpool, the Gunners had won the league five days earlier by claiming a 1-0 victory at Spurs in a re-arranged fixture, but it wasn't a bad season for Bill Nicholson's Spurs either who won the League Cup and finished 3rd. Chelsea too lifted silverware in the form of the European Cup-Winners Cup, beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final replay with goals from John Dempsey and Peter Osgood, the Blues finished 6th in the league whilst Palace were 18th. Orient and Watford did just enough to stay up in the 2nd tier, Luton had no such problems with Malcolm Macdonald's 24 goals helping them to finish 6th and Rodney Marsh grabbed 21 for QPR in 11th. Spurs' Martin Chivers was runner-up on the top flight goal scoring charts with 21, Arsenal's top scorer was Ray Kennedy with 19. Fulham were promoted from the 3rd tier but Gillingham were relegated.

The Big Match 1970/71

Season 1971/72
14/Aug    West Ham United 0 West Bromwich Albion 1 (T.Brown) +G/M
21/Aug    Brentford 1 (Turner) Aldershot 1 (Grummett) +G/T
28/Aug    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Marsh) Millwall 1 (Dunphy) +M/G (This edition was also shown in Scotland)
04/Sep    Chelsea 3 (Osgood 2, Hollins) Coventry City 3 (Rafferty, O'Rourke, Mortimer) +Y/M
11/Sep    Arsenal 2 (Graham, Storey) Leeds United 0 +M/Y
18/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Peters, Chivers, Mullery) Crystal Palace 0 +M/G
25/Sep    Charlton Athletic 2 (Went(pen), Treacey) Burnley 0  +G/M
02/Oct    Chelsea 3 (Baldwin, Houseman, Hollins) Wolverhampton W. 1 (McCalliog)
09/Oct    West Ham United 1 (Hurst) Leicester City 1 (Cross) +Y/M
16/Oct    Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Arsenal 2 (Kennedy, Graham) +E/M
23/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Peters 2(1pen), Chivers, Mullery, Pearce 2) Nottingham Forest 1 (Richardson) +G/T
30/Oct    Crystal Palace 0 West Ham United 3 (Coker, Bonds, Best) +G/M
06/Nov    Tottenham Hotpsur 3 (Pratt 2, Chivers) Everton 0 +Y/G
13/Nov    Arsenal 1 (Nelson) Manchester City 2 (Mellor, Bell) +M/E  *BFI details are incorrect
20/Nov    Millwall 3 (Bolland(pen), Possee, Bridges) Birmingham City 0 +M/G  *BFI details are incorrect
27/Nov    Chelsea 1 (Cooke) Tottenham Hotspur 0 +E/M
04/Dec    West Ham United 0 Arsenal 0 +Y/G
11/Dec    Arsenal 2 (Radford 2) Coventry City 0 +M/G
18/Dec    Crystal Palace 1 (Craven) Leeds United 1 (Lorimer) +Y/T
01/Jan     West Ham United 3 (Robson, Best, Hurst(pen)) Manchester United 0 +G/M
08/Jan     Millwall 0 Queens Park Rangers 0 +Y/G
15/Jan     West Ham United 2 (Hurst, Best) Luton Town 1 (Givens) [FA Cup 3rd Round] +S/Y (main game was the Southern match)
22/Jan     West Ham United 3 (Lampard, Robson, Brooking) Derby County 3 (Hinton, Durban, Hector) +Y/M
29/Jan     Chelsea 4 (Osgood 2, Hollins(pen), Dempsey) Everton 0 +E/M
05/Feb    Reading 1 (Wagstaffe) Arsenal 2 (Morgan(og), Rice) [FA Cup 4th Round] +M/Y
12/Feb    Arsenal 2 (George 2 (1pen)) Derby County 0 +M/E
19/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers 2) Stoke City 0 +E/G  *BFI details are incorrect
26/Feb    Showed Granada coverage of Everton 0 Tottenham H. 2 (Gilzean, Peters) [FA Cup R5] *Brian Moore comm for LWT viewers  +M/Y
04/Mar    League Cup Final - Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Stoke City 2 (Conroy, Eastham)  *Networked highlights
11/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Derby County 1 (Hinton) +E/G
18/Mar    Orient 0 Arsenal 1 (Ball) [FA Cup QF] +M
25/Mar    Brentford 2 (Docherty, O'Mara) Grimsby Town 0 +G/Y
01/Apr    West Ham United 2 (Brooking, Coker) Tottenham Hotspur 0 +E/M
08/Apr    Chelsea 2 (Hollins, Osgood) Crystal Palace 1 (Blyth) +M/G
15/Apr    Arsenal 1 (Armstrong) Stoke City 1 (Simpson(og)) [FA Cup Semi-Final] *also Stafford Rangers 3 Barnet 0 [FA Trophy final] with Gerald Sinstadt comm.
22/Apr    Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Murray(pen)) Bolton Wanderers 1 (G.Jones(pen)) *also Hendon 2 Enfield 0 [FA Amateur Cup Final at Wembley] +G
29/Apr    Millwall 2 (Possy, Bridges) Preston North End 0 +England v West Germany
06/May   FA Cup Final - Arsenal 0 Leeds 1 (Clarke) *Networked live, Sunday Cup final highlights now titled "How The Cup Was Won"

Arsenal's European Cup campaign ended with a Quarter-final defeat to the eventual winners Ajax, whilst on the domestic front the Gunners reached the final of the FA Cup for the 2nd successive year but lost to Leeds. In the league, Arsenal were the highest placed London team in 5th ahead of Spurs in 6th, yet Spurs fans were the more content after winning the UEFA Cup (its' first season under this new name having previously been known as the Fairs Cup). Martin Chivers scored 25 league goals for Spurs, Peter Osgood netted 19 for Chelsea who finished 7th having lost in the League Cup final, West Ham were 14th, Palace narrowly avoided the drop finishing 3rd bottom. In the 2nd tier, Millwall came agonizingly close to promotion by finishing just 2 points behind the champions in 3rd, QPR were only another point worse off in 4th, but the table did not make pretty reading for the region at the bottom as all three clubs at the foot of the table were London sides - Charlton and Watford were relegated whilst Fulham just survived (one point ahead of Charlton). In the lower divisions, fringe LWT club Brighton were promoted from the 3rd tier whilst Brentford moved up from the 4th with John O'Mara netting 25 league goals.

The Big Match 1971/72

Season 1972/73
12/Aug    Chelsea 4 (Osgood, Locke, Garland 2) Leeds United 0 *Harvey off injured, Lorimer went in goal for Leeds +G/E
19/Aug    Fulham 1 (Went) Burnley 1 (James) +Y/G
26/Aug    Chelsea 2 (Osgood, Houseman) Manchester City 1 (Mellor) +Y/G
02/Sep    West Ham United 2 (Robson 2) Manchester United 2 (Best, Moore) +E/Y
09/Sep    Tottenham Hotspurs 2 (Peters(pen), England) Crystal Palace 1 (Knowles(og)) +G/T
16/Sep    Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 *Jimmy Hill takes over as linesman. +M/Y
23/Sep    Brentford 1 (Docherty) Bournemouth 1 (Macdougall) +M/G
30/Sep    Queens Park Rangers 3 (Givens 2(1pen), Bowles) Cardiff City 0 +M/Y
07/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 4 (Pratt 2, Gilzean, Peters) Stoke City 3 (Ritchie 2, Bloor) +G/M
14/Oct    West Ham United 3 (Brooking, Robson 2) Sheffield United 1 (Taylor(og)) +E/M
21/Oct    Crystal Palace 2 (Craven 2) Arsenal 3 (George(pen), Radford, Rice) +Y/G
28/Oct    Arsenal 0 Manchester City 0 +E/M
04/Nov    West Ham United 2 (Robson, Brooking) Wolverhampton W. 2 (Kindon 2) +E/G
11/Nov    Millwall 3 (S.Brown, Wood 2) Brighton & Hove Albion 0 +M/G
18/Nov    Crystal Palace 2 (Craven 2) Leeds United 2 (Jones, Giles) +M/G
25/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Chivers) Liverpool 2 (Heighway, Keegan) +M
02/Dec    West Ham United 1 (Brooking) Newcastle United 1 (Craig) +Y/E
09/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Peters) Arsenal 2 (Storey, Radford) +E/Y
16/Dec    Crystal Palace 5 (Mulligan 2, Rogers 2, Whittle) Manchester United 0 +G/E
23/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Chivers, Perryman) Sheffield United 0 +G/M
30/Dec    Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Derby County 1 (O' Hare) +Y/M
06/Jan     West Ham United 0 Liverpool 1 (Keegan) +Y/X
13/Jan     Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Chelsea 2 (Osgood 2) [FA Cup 3rd Round] *Jimmy Hill comm (Moore fell ill but did present). +E/G
20/Jan     Chelsea 0 Arsenal 1 (Kennedy) +Y/G
27/Jan     Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 +X/M
03/Feb    Chelsea 2 (Garner 2) Ipswich Town 0 [FA Cup 4th Round] +G/M
10/Feb    Watford 1 (Morrissey(pen)) Blackburn Rovers 3 (Endean, Field, Napier) +M/G
17/Feb    Crystal Palace 3 (Possee, Whittle, Rogers) Stoke City 2 (Greenhoff, Smith) +G/Y
24/Feb    Yorkshire coverage of Sheffield Wed. 1 (Coyle) Chelsea 2 (Garner, Osgood) [FA Cup R5] *No London home cup ties, Brian Moore for LWT viewers. +M/G
03/Mar    League Cup Final - Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Coates) Norwich City 0 *Networked highlights
10/Mar    Fulham 1 (Mitchell) Carlisle United 0 +Y/E
17/Mar    Derby County 0 Leeds United 1 (Lorimer) [FA Cup QF] *Brian Moore. Not "The Big Match" but a pan-regional "'6th Round FA Cup" ITV Sport production, +M (Wolves v Cov)
24/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Chivers) Manchester United 1 (Graham) +G
31/Mar    Crystal Palace 2 (Phillip, Cannon) Chelsea 0 +Y/E
07/Apr     Arsenal 1 (George) Sunderland 2 (Halom, Hughes) [FA Cup SF] *Networked highlights
14/Apr    Arsenal 1 (Storey) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Chivers) + Walton & Hersham 1 (Connell) Slough Town 0 [FA Amateur Cup F at Wembley]/M
21/Apr    Millwall 0 Queens Park Rangers 1 (Givens) +M/E
28/Apr    West Ham United 1 (Rice(og)) Arsenal 2 (Kennedy, Radford) +G/E
05/May    FA Cup Final *Networked live, Sunday highlights

Arsenal were league runners-up and narrowly missed out on a third successive FA Cup final by losing to 2nd tier Sunderland in the Semi-finals. West Ham had a good season, finishing 6th with Bryan Robson's 28 goals putting him on top of the goalscoring charts, but it was 8th placed Spurs who lifted silverware by winning the League Cup after a goal by Ralph Coates was enough to beat Norwich, goalkeeper Pat Jennings was named 'Footballer of the year'. Chelsea finished 12th and Crystal Palace were finally relegated in their fourth season amongst the elite. As 2nd tier runners-up Gordon Jago's QPR would be one of the clubs replacing Palace (the Hoops' Don Givens finishing top scorer at this level with 23, Stan Bowles chipped in with 17), but Brighton made an immediate return to the Third Division after finishing bottom, Brentford too followed their promotion season with a relegation back down to the 4th. Charlton's Arthur Horsfield was joint top scorer in the 3rd tier with 25.

The Big Match 1972/731972/73

1st April 1973 - Jimmy Hill (right) interviewing Crystal Palace manager Malcolm Allison.
It was Hill's final season on the programme before he joined 'Match of the Day' on BBC1.

Season 1973/74
17/Aug    Arsenal 1 (Hornsby) Wolverhampton W. 3 (McCalliog, Dougan 2) [FA Cup 3rd/4th PO] *at Highbury Friday night (tx Sunday) +G
25/Aug    Arsenal 3 (Kennedy, Radford, Ball) Manchester United 0 +G/M
01/Sep    Chelsea 1 (Hollins(pen)) Sheffield United 2 (Currie, Woodward) +T/E
08/Sep    Crystal Palace 2 (Blyth, Cannon) Middlesbrough 3 (Hickton, Mills, Taylor) +Y/E
15/Sep    Oxford United 0 Sunderland 1 (Tueart) +G/M
22/Sep    West Ham United 1 (Robson) Leicester City 1 (Worthington) +M
29/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Coates) Derby County 0 +Y/T (Studio guest Malcolm Allison failed to turn up after his Palace side lost 4-0 in the Y game)
06/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Bowles) Chelsea 1 (Mancini(og)) +Y/M
13/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Gilzean, Chivers) Arsenal 0 +M/Y
20/Oct     Orient 2 (Queen, Fairbrother) Luton Town 0 +E/M
27/Oct     West Ham United 0 Derby County 0 +M/E
03/Nov    Fulham 2 (John Conway, Busby) Bristol City 1 (Tainton) +G/M
10/Nov    Queens Park Rangers 3 (Bowles, Francis, Venables) Coventry City 0 +E/G
17/Nov    Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0 +T/G
24/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Chivers(pen)) Wolverhampton W. 3 (Powell, Palmer, Hibbitt) +M/E
01/Dec     Brighton & Hove Albion 2 (O'Sullivan, R.Howell) Bristol Rovers 8 (Bannister 3, Fearnley, Warboys 4) +M/Y
08/Dec     West Ham United 2 (Brooking, Doyle(og)) Manchester City 1 (Lee) +E/M
15/Dec     Chelsea 1 (Osgood) Leeds United 2 (Jordan, Jones) +G/M
22/Dec     Queens Park Rangers 3 (Clement, Givens, Bowles) Newcastle United 2 (McDermott, Moncur) +M/G
29/Dec     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Pratt, Chivers) West Ham United 0 *11:15am KO, John Camkin commentated  +G/S
05/Jan      Chelsea 0 Queens Park Rangers 0 [FA Cup R3] +G/M
12/Jan      West Ham United 2 (Bonds, Holland) Manchester United 1 (McIlroy) +M/Y
19/Jan      Orient 2 (Queen, Fairbrother) Sunderland 1 (Belfitt) +E/M
26/Jan      Arsenal 1 (Kennedy) Aston Villa 1 (Morgan) [FA Cup R4 +G/E
02/Feb     West Ham United 0 Birmingham City 0 +?/?
09/Feb     Showed other region's games - G/E  *Intended match Spurs v Liverpool PP'd less than an hour before KO.
16/Feb     Luton Town 0 Leicester City 4 (Earle 2, Worthington, Weller) [FA Cup R5] +M/S
23/Feb     Gillingham 2 (Yeo, Wilks) Exeter City 1 (Bowker) +S/M
02/Mar     League Cup Final *Networked highlights
09/Mar     Bristol City 0 Liverpool 1 (Toshack) [FA Cup QF] *Brian Moore commentated +T
16/Mar     West Ham United 2 (Bonds 2(1pen)) Coventry City 3 (Cross, Alderson, Carr) +E/M
23/Mar     Crystal Palace 3 (Possee 2, Rogers(pen)) Bristol City 1 (Whitehead) +G/M
30/Mar     FA Cup SF *Networked highlights of Newcastle/Burnley +E
06/Apr     Arsenal 0 West Ham United 0 +E/M
13/Apr     Millwall 3 (Clark, Wood 2) Crystal Palace 2 (P Taylor, Rogers(pen)) +E/M
20/Apr     Luton Town 3 (Faulkner, Anderson, Hindson) Millwall 0 +Y
                     *also Bishop's Stortford 4 (Lawrence,Murphy,Leakey,Smith (pen)) Ilford 1 (Drabwell) [FA Amateur Cup Final at Wembley]
27/Apr     Intended to show QPR v Leeds, which was recorded but Rangers wanted extra money to broadcast it. Showed matches from other regions instead  - G/M/Y
04/May    FA Cup Final *Networked live, Sunday highlights

8th placed QPR were this season's highest finishing team in the region with Stan Bowles their top scorer on 19, they also reached the FA Cup Quarter-finals. 11th placed Tottenham's season ended in disaster when crowd trouble in their UEFA Cup final 2nd leg away to Feyenoord led to Spurs becoming the first British club to receive a European ban, Spurs lost the final 4-2 on aggregate - losing the away leg 2-0. Relegation and promotion places increased from two to three between the 1st&2nd and 2nd&3rd tiers, Chelsea and West Ham narrowly avoided the freshly widened trapdoor by finishing just a point above the drop with Chelsea twice changing their manager; Dave Sexton was sacked in October and replaced by assistant Ron Suart, he in turn was replaced by Eddie McCreadie in March. West Ham manager Ron Greenwood would now move 'upstairs' to become General Manager. In the 2nd tier, Harry Haslam's Luton Town were promoted as runners-up whilst Orient (in 4th) finished just one point behind the extra promotion place, Millwall's Alf Wood was runner-up on the goalscoring charts at this level with 21, but Malcolm Allison's Crystal Palace finished 3rd bottom and were relegated. Watford's Billy Jennings topped the 3rd tier charts with 26 goals whilst Brian Yeo of Gillingham was the goalscoring king in the 4th on 31.

The Big Match 1973/741973/74

Season 1974/75
03/Aug    West Ham United 1 (Bonds) Orient 0 [Anglo-Scottish Cup] +M (No more TV games at West Ham until Nov due to OB van parking dispute with council)
10/Aug    Orient 2 (Walley, Queen) Luton Town 2 (Husband, Butlin) [Anglo-Scottish Cup] +M
17/Aug    Orient 0 Manchester United 2 (Morgan, Houston) *Linesman injured & replaced by spectator for last 4mins +E/M
24/Aug    Queens Park Rangers 0 Stoke City 1 (Hurst) +G/T
31/Aug    Gillingham 0 Charlton Athletic 1 (Peacock) +T/G
07/Sep    Fulham 0 York City 2 (Jones 2) +G/M
14/Sep    Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0 +T/M
21/Sep    Arsenal 2 (Kidd 2) Luton Town 2 (Alston, Shanks) +E/Y
28/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Neighbour) Middlesbrough 2 (Armstrong, Mills) +Y/E
05/Oct    Fulham 1 (Busby) Manchester United 2 (Pearson 2) +T
12/Oct    Arsenal 2 (Kidd, Radford) Queens Park Rangers 2 (Bowles 2(1pen)) +M/Y
19/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Perryman, Chivers) Arsenal 0 +E/T
26/Oct    Chelsea 3 (Droy, Garland, Hutchinson) Stoke City 3 (Greenhoff, Haselgrave, Robertson) +G
02/Nov    West Ham United 3 (Robson, Boam, Paddon) Middlesbrough 0 +Y/G
09/Nov    Chelsea 0 Leicester City 0 +Y/M
16/Nov    West Ham United 5 (Bonds (pen), Brooking, Lampard, Jennings, Gould) Wolverhampton W. 2 (Richards, Kindon) +M/T
23/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Birmingham City 0 +M/G
30/Nov    Crystal Palace 2 (Cannon, Chatterton) Charlton Athletic 1 (Powell) +T/E
07/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Bell(og), Chivers, Knowles) Newcastle United 0 +M/Y
14/Dec    West Ham United 0 Manchester City 0 +E/Y
21/Dec    Chelsea 1 (Hutchinson) West Ham United 1 (Gould) *Terry Mancini presented this edition with Terry Venables  +T/Y
28/Dec    Millwall 0 Portsmouth 0 +Y/M
04/Jan     Wycombe Wanderers 0 Middlesbrough 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round] +G/M
11/Jan     Queens Park Rangers 0 Burnley 1 (Hankin) +M/E
18/Jan     West Ham United 2 ((Jennings, Bonds(pen)) Queens Park Rangers 2 (Masson, Bowles(pen)) +M/E
25/Jan     West Ham United (Jennings) 1 Swindon Town 1 (Eastoe) [FA Cup 4th Round] +M/Y
01/Feb    Arsenal 2 (Ball 2(1pen)) Liverpool 0 +M/S
08/Feb    Luton Town 1 (R.Futcher) Newcastle United 0 +G/E
15/Feb    West Ham United 2 (Holland, Robson) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Clement) [FA Cup R5] +E/G
22/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Leicester City 3 (Stringfellow, Worthington, Sammels) +G/M
01/Mar    League Cup Final*Networked highlights
08/Mar    Carlisle United 0 Fulham 1 (Barrett) [FA Cup QF] *Brian Moore outside the region +E
15/Mar    Charlton Athletic 2 (Curtis, Flanagan) Southend United 1 (Hales(og)) +M/Y
22/Mar    Orient 1 (Heppolette) Aston Villa 0 +E/G
29/Mar    Arsenal 1 (Kelly) Stoke City 1 (Salmons) +E/G
05/Apr    Fulham 1 (Mitchell) Birmingham City 1 (Gallagher) [FA Cup SF] *Networked highlights from Hillsborough
12/Apr    Millwall 1 (Kitchener) Norwich City 1 (Butler) +E/M
19/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Perryman, Conn) Chelsea 0 +E/G
26/Apr    Arsenal 1 (Kidd) Tottenham Hotspur 0 +S/E
03/May   FA Cup Final - West Ham United 2 (A.Taylor 2) Fulham 0 *Networked live, Sunday highlights

1975 saw the first all London FA Cup final since 1967 as 2nd tier Fulham (managed by Alec Stock) met West Ham (in their first season under John Lyall), Fulham's Alan Mullery was named 'Footballer of the year' and the Cottagers were now captained by ex-Hammers & England hero Bobby Moore, but it was West Ham who came out on top in the Cup final with a 2-0 win, both goals were scored by Alan Taylor (Hammers keeper Mervyn Day was named the PFA young player of the year). In the league, it was a very poor season for the region's top flight clubs - QPR scraped into the top half in 11th - Gordon Jago resigned as manager in October, Dave Sexton replaced him, West Ham finished 13th and Arsenal 16th - the Gunners lowest finish in 50 years, although Brian Kidd was runner-up on the top flight scorers chart with 19. Spurs boss Bill Nicholson was another London based manager to resign early in the season, former Arsenal player Terry Neill then took charge and Spurs went on to avoid the drop by 1 point, largely thanks to a Big Match televised home win against Chelsea on 19/Apr/75 which helped send the Blues down, the match inevitably ended with a pitch battle between rival fans following a noticeably sharp increase in hooliganism in general over the past few years. Fringe LWT club Luton Town were also relegated in their one season return to this level. There was little local joy in the 2nd tier either, Fulham and Orient finished mid-table whilst Millwall were relegated. Watford's season was another relegation story in the 3rd tier but there was some cheer in this league thanks to Andy Nelson's Charlton Athletic who won promotion.

The Big Match 1974/751974/75

Season 1975/76
09/Aug    Fulham 1 (Mullery(pen)) Chelsea 0 [Anglo-Scottish Cup] +T/M/G
16/Aug    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Perryman) Middlesbrough 0 +M/E
23/Aug    Chelsea 3 (Maybank 2, Bason) Carlisle United 1 (Barry) +Y
30/Aug    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Givens) West Ham United 1 (Jennings) +Y/T
06/Sep     Arsenal 1 (Stapleton) Leicester City 1 (Sammels) +M/T
13/Sep     Queens Park Rangers 1 (Webb) Manchester United 0 +M/G
20/Sep     West Ham United 2 (T.Taylor, Best) Sheffield United 0 +M/E
27/Sep     Fulham 2 (Howe, Conway) Chelsea 0 +M/G
04/Oct     West Ham United 0 Everton 1 (Jones) +M/T
11/Oct     Crystal Palace 3 (Evans, Kemp, Swindlehurst) Grimsby Town 0 +Y/T
18/Oct     Luton Town 1 (Chambers) Fulham 0 +M/T
25/Oct     West Ham United 2 (Taylor, Gould) Manchester United 1 (Macari) *crowd crushing problem, 18 min stoppage.  +G/M
01/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Neighbour, Young) Wolverhampton W. 1 (Daley) +M/Y
08/Nov    Queens Park Rangers 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 +Y/E
15/Nov    Charlton Athletic 1 (Hales) Sunderland 2 (Holden 2) +M/E
22/Nov    Arsenal 3 (Ball, Greenhoff(og), Armstrong) Manchester United 1 (Pearson) +G/Y
29/Nov    West Ham United 1 (A.Taylor) Arsenal 0 +M/Y
06/Dec     Chelsea 0 Bolton Wanderers 1 (Greaves) +M/G
13/Dec     Queens Park Rangers 1 (Nutt) Derby County 1 (Rioch) +E/Y
20/Dec     West Ham United 3 (Jennings 3) Stoke City 1 (Bloor) +M/G
27/Dec     Arsenal 2 (Ball, Kidd) Queens Park Rangers 0 +G/Y
03/Jan      Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Duncan) Stoke City 1 (Mahoney) [FA Cup 3rd Round] +M/Y
10/Jan      Arsenal 0 Aston Villa 0 +G/T
17/Jan      Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Duncan) Manchester United 1 (Hill) +G/E
24/Jan      Charlton Athletic 1 (Curtis(pen)) Portsmouth 1 (Piper) [FA Cup 4th Round] +M/Y
31/Jan      Chelsea 1 (Britton) West Bromwich Albion 2 (Martin, T.Brown) +G/T
07/Feb     Crystal Palace 3 (Taylor(pen), Chatterton 2) Swindon Town 3 (Stroud, Syrett 2) *Swindon's Dave Moss missed pen +E/T
14/Feb     Showed other region's FA Cup 5th Round ties - M/E/T
21/Feb     West Ham United 1 (Brooking) Derby County 2 (George, Rioch) +E/M
28/Feb     League Cup Final *Networked highlights
06/Mar     Showed Tyne Tees coverage of Sunderland 0 Crystal Palace 1 (Whittle) [FA Cup QF] *Brian moore for LWT. +G
13/Mar     Chelsea 1 (Finneston) Southampton 1 (Channon) +G/Y
20/Mar     Arsenal 6 (Ball 2(1 pen), Armstrong, Kidd 3) West Ham United 1 (Jennings) +M/E
27/Mar     Queens Park Rangers 1 (Webb) Manchester City 0 +M/G
03/Apr     Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 2 (Gilchrist, Peach(pen)) [FA Cup SF] *played at Stamford Bridge
10/Apr     Queens Park Rangers 4 (Francis 2(1pen), Givens, Bowles) Middlesbrough 2 (Boersma, Brine) +G
17/Apr     Millwall 2 (Walker, McGrath) Peterborough United 0 +G/M
24/Apr     Queens Park Rangers 2 (Thomas, Bowles) Leeds United 0 +E
01/May    FA Cup Final *Networked live, Sunday highlights +X

It was some season for Dave Sexton's QPR who came within a whisker of winning the league championship, but in the end they had to settle for 2nd spot just 1 point behind Liverpool who won their post-final weekend re-arranged fixture at Wolves despite being 1-0 down until the 76th minute. West Ham also came close to glory by reaching the final of the Cup-Winners Cup where they met Belgian opponents at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, goals from Pat Holland and Keith Robson were not enough as Anderlecht won 4-2. The Hammers finished 18th in the league with Arsenal only one place higher - manager Bertie Mee announced his retirement in March. Spurs had a much better season in 9th, John Duncan was runner-up on the top flight scorers chart with 20. In the 2nd tier, 9th placed Charlton's Derek Hales was top scorer with 28 goals whilst Chelsea, Fulham and Orient all finished mid-table, fringe LWT club Oxford were relegated. In the 3rd tier; Gordon Jago's Millwall were promoted, Palace finished 5th and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, losing to the eventual winners Southampton.

The Big Match 1975/761975/76

Season 1976/77
21/Aug    Arsenal 0 Bristol City 1 (Cheesley) +G/E
28/Aug    West Ham United 0 Leicester City 0 +M/H
04/Sep    Millwall 3 (Salvage, Evans, Brisley) Chelsea 0 +M/H
11/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Jones) Leeds United 0 +M/G
18/Sep    Chelsea 2 (Hay, Stanley) Bolton Wanderers 1 (Taylor) +M/Y
25/Sep    Fulham 4 (Slough, Evanson, Marsh 2) Hereford United 1 (Howe(og)) +M/E
02/Oct    Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Fell) Crystal Palace 1 (Cannon) +S/Y
09/Oct    Charlton Athletic 3 (Hales 3) Hull City 1 (Galvin) +M/G
16/Oct    West Ham United 0 Ipswich Town 2 (Woods 2) +G
23/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 2 (McClintock, Bowles) Sunderland 0 +M/E
30/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Pratt, McAllister, Osgood) Everton 3 (King, McNaught, Latchford) +M/H
06/Nov    Arsenal 4 (Stapleton, Nelson, MacDonald(pen), Ross) Birmingham City 0 +E/M
13/Nov    Millwall 4 (Kitchen, Lee, Walker, Speasman) Luton Town 2 (West, Buckley(pen)) +M/Y
20/Nov    Fulham 1 (Slough) Notts County 5 (Vinter 2, Carter, Busby, Howe(og)) +M/E
27/Nov    Tottenham Hotpur 2 (Osgood 2) Stoke City 0 +G/Y
04/Dec    Fulham 5 (Mitchell 2, Maybank 2, Best) Oldham Athletic 0 *Intended match QPR v Man Utd was pp'd. +G/E
11/Dec    Chelsea 3 (Wilkins, Britton, Finneston) Wolverhampton W. 3 (Richards 2, Gould) +G/Y
18/Dec    Arsenal 3 (MacDonald 2, Brady) Manchester United 1 (McIlroy) *Elton John presented with Keegan & Channon  +Y/G
01/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Osgood(pen), Duncan) West Ham United 1 (Brooking) +G/E
08/Jan     Wimbledon 0 Middlesbrough 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round] +Y/G
15/Jan     Crystal Palace 2 (Chatterton, Silkman) Grimsby Town 1 (Wigg) *Intended match QPR v West Ham was pp'd. +T/E
22/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Taylor) Ipswich Town 0 +H
29/Jan     Arsenal 3 (Stapleton 2, MacDonald) Coventry City 1 (Hutchison) [FA Cup 4th Round] +H/E
05/Feb    Fulham 1 (Mitchell) Charlton Athletic 1 (Flanagan) +Y/G
12/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Jones) Manchester United 3 (Macari, McIlroy, Hill)
19/Feb    Arsenal 2 (Brady, Stapleton) West Ham United 3 (Taylor 2, Jennings) +G/Y
26/Feb    Showed Southampton 2 (Peach(pen), Holmes) Man Utd 2 (Macari, Hill) [FA Cup R5] *Brian Moore comm. +G/Y
05/Mar    Chelsea 2 (Swain, Wicks) Blackpool 2 (Ronson, Spence) +G/T
12/Mar    League Cup Final *Networked highlights
19/Mar    Showed other region's FA Cup QF's - M/G (Brian Moore commentating on M)
26/Mar    Fulham 3 (Mitchell, Maybank 2) Sheffield United 2 (Woodward, Edwards) +M/E
02/Apr    West Ham United 2 (Robson 2(1pen)) Everton 2 (Goodlass, Pearson) +G/Y
09/Apr    Chelsea 2 (Finnieston, Sparrow) Luton Town 0 +G/Y
16/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Jones) Sunderland 1 (Holden) +E/T
23/Apr     FA Cup SF *Networked highlights of Man Utd/Leeds
30/Apr     Chelsea 4 (Langley, Lewington, Wilkins, Finnieston) Sheffield United 0 +G/Y
07/May    West Ham United 2 (Pike, Jennings) Derby County 2 (James, McGiven(og)) +G/M
14/May    Chelsea 4 (Finnieston 3(1pen), Britton) Hull City 0 +G/E
21/May    FA Cup Final *Networked live, Sunday highlights

It was a much improved season for Arsenal who finished 8th with new signing Malcolm Macdonald the joint top-flight scorer on 25. The Gunners were now managed by Terry Neill who had been sacked by Spurs in the summer, Spurs replaced Neill with Keith Burkinshaw but 76/77 proved to be a disastrous campaign for Tottenham as they finished rock bottom (and goalkeeper Pat Jennings then moved to Arsenal). QPR reached the Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, losing on penalties to AEK Athens, and finished 14th, West Ham were 17th. In the 2nd tier; Eddie McCreadie's Chelsea won promotion as runners-up with Steve Finnieston scoring 24 goals, Mike Flanagan netted 23 for Charlton in 7th whilst at the other end Orient stayed up on goal-difference. Fulham made more appearances on The Big Match this season than would normally be expected of a 2nd tier club thanks to the signings of George Best and Rodney Marsh. In the 3rd tier; both Crystal Palace and Brighton were promoted - Peter Ward scored 32 for the Seagulls whilst Palace were now managed by Terry Venables. Wimbledon were elected into the league at the expense of Workington.

The Big Match 1976/77

Season 1977/78
20/Aug    Millwall 0 Crystal Palace 3 (Evans, Hilaire, Chatterton) +M/T
27/Aug    Chelsea 1 (Langley) Coventry City 2 (Powell, Wallace) +M/Y
03/Sep    Arsenal 3 (Stapleton 2, Brady(pen)) Nottingham Forest 0 +E/T
10/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Jones) Fulham 0 +M/G
17/Sep    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Francis) Manchester City 1 (Royle) +M/Y
24/Sep    West Ham United 1 (Dobson(og)) Everton 1 (McKenzie) +E/T
01/Oct    Orient 1 (Mayo) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Taylor) +E/T
08/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Eastoe) Everton 5 (Latchford 4, McKenzie) *Stan Bowles missed pen for QPR. +G/M
15/Oct    Crystal Palace 1 (Perrin) Southampton 2 (Boyer, Holmes) +M/Y
22/Oct    Watford 2 (Mercer, Downes) Newport County 0 +S/G
29/Oct    Arsenal 1 (Rice) Birmingham City 1 (Bertschin) +G/E
05/Nov   Chelsea 1 (Aylott) Nottingham Forest 0 +M/T
12/Nov   West Ham United 3 (Robson(pen), Devonshire 2) West Bromwich Albion 3 (Wile 2, Cunningham) +M/G
19/Nov   Tottenham Hotspur 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 +G/E
26/Nov   Queens Park Rangers 2 (Needham, Givens) Manchester United 2 (Pearson, Hill) +T/G
03/Dec    Charlton Athletic 3 (Berry, Henderson(og), Flanagan) Sunderland 2 (Greenwood, Entwhistle) +M/E
10/Dec    Arsenal 1 (Young) Leeds United 1 (McQueen) +M/E
17/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Hoddle 2) Crystal Palace 2 (Swindlehurst 2) *Studio guests Peter Cook, John Cleese & Elton John. +G/Y
24/Dec    No fixtures played
31/Dec    West Ham United 3 (McDowell, Hales, Cross) Leicester City 2 (Kember, Sims) +G/H
07/Jan     Chelsea 4 (Walker 2, Finnieston, Langley) Liverpool 2 (Johnson, Dalglish) [FA Cup R3] +G/Y
14/Jan     Luton Town 0 Oldham Athletic 1 (Taylor) *Gerald Sinstadt comm, Dickie Davies presented (Moore in Argentina for WC draw) +E/T
21/Jan     Chelsea 5 (Swain 2, Finnieston,Wilkins, Langley) Ipswich Town 3 (Osborne, Wark, Mariner) +M/G
28/Jan     West Ham United 1 (Bonds) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Howe) [FA Cup 4th Round] +T/H
04/Feb    Fulham 1 (Greenaway) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Taylor) +G/M
11/Feb    Chelsea 2 (Walker, R.Wilkins) Manchester United 2 (McIlroy, Hill(pen)) +M/Y
18/Feb    Orient 0 Chelsea 0 [FA Cup 5th Round] +H
25/Feb    West Ham United 2 (Taylor, Cross) Arsenal 2 (Macdonald 2) *Martin Tyler commentated, Moore was ill. +G/Y
04/Mar    Showed Granada coverage of Oldham A. 1 (Taylor) Tottenham H. 1 (McNab) *Brian Moore comm for LWT. +M/E
                    *Note:- LWT cameras were at Chelsea v Liverpool which was beamed live to Sweden, the goals from this were shown on the following week's edition
11/Mar    Showed HTV coverage of Wrexham 2 (McNeal, Whittle) Arsenal 3 (Stapleton, Sunderland, Young) [FA Cup QF] +T
                    *Brian Moore commentated for all regions except HTV
18/Mar    League Cup Final *Networked highlights
25/Mar    Queens Park Rangers 3 (James, McGee 2) Ipswich Town 3 (Wark, Burley, Mariner) +G/M
01/Apr    Gillingham 0 Wrexham 0 +M/G
08/Apr    Arsenal 3 (Macdonald 2, Rix) Orient 0 [FA Cup Semi Final] *Networked highlights from Stamford Bridge
15/Apr    West Ham United 3 (Robson 2, Cross) Derby County 0 +M/X
22/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Taylor, Duncan) Sunderland 3 (Rowell, Lee 2) +G/Y
29/Apr    West Ham United 0 Liverpool 2 (McDermott, Fairclough) +S/E
06/May   FA Cup Final - Arsenal 0 Ipswich Town 1 *Networked live, brief highlights included on Sunday Grand Prix "World of Sport Special"

Arsenal continued to improve by finishing 5th and reaching the FA Cup final, Chelsea's return to the top flight saw them finish 16th after manager Eddie McCreadie had resigned during pre-season after falling out with the Chairman, his replacement was Ken Shellito. QPR finished 19th, West Ham were relegated in 20th. Keith Burkinshaw's Spurs snatched the final promotion spot in the 2nd tier by virtue of a better goal difference than Brighton. Palace finished 9th and Fulham were 10th whilst Orient, Millwall and Charlton were among seven clubs who all finished one point above the trapdoor, Orient also reached the FA Cup Semi-finals (losing to Arsenal) and Peter Kitchen scored 21 league goals. In the 4th tier; Graham Taylor's Watford were promoted as champions with Bill Dodgin Jr.'s Brentford joining them in 4th - 54 of their 86 league goals were scored by Steve Phillips (32) and Andy McCulloch (22).

The Big Match 1977/781977/78

Season 1978/79
19/Aug    Arsenal 2 (Brady 2) Leeds United 2 (Currie, Cherry) +Y/E
26/Aug    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Duncan, Armstrong) Chelsea 2 (Swain 2) +M/X
02/Sep    West Ham United 0 Fulham 1 (Margerrison) +M/G
09/Sep    Watford 0 Swansea City 2 (Waddell, Moore) +M
16/Sep    Chelsea 1 (Stanley) Manchester City 4 (Channon, R.Futcher 3) +M/Y
23/Sep    Arsenal 1 (Price) Manchester United 1 (Coppell) +G/M
30/Sep    Chelsea 1 (Wicks) West Bromwich Albion 3 (Regis, Wile, T.Brown) +H/M
07/Oct    Crystal Palace 3 (Hilare 2, Swindlehurst) Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Horton) +Y/E
14/Oct     Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Ainscow(og)) Birmingham City 0 +Y/G
21/Oct    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Gillard) Everton 1 (Latchford) +M/Y
28/Oct     Crystal Palace 0 Fulham 1 (Greenaway) +E/Y
04/Nov   West Ham United 3 (Lampard, Devonshire, Cross) Preston North End 1 (Thompson) +M/E
11/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Pratt) Nottingham Forest 3 (Anderson, Robertson, Birtles) +S/M
18/Nov    Arsenal 2 (Brady 2(1pen)) Everton 2 (Ross, Dobson) +T/M
25/Nov    Charlton Athletic 0 Fulham 0 +M/Y
02/Dec    Arsenal 1 (Price) Liverpool 0 +T/E
09/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Pratt) Ipswich Town 0 +H/M
16/Dec    Queens Park Rangers 2 (Hamilton 2) Manchester City 1 (Channon) +M/T
23/Dec    *Industrial dispute took both"The Big Match" and this weekends edition of WOS off the air, showed "Robert Redford on the Outlaw Trail" instead, Guardian lists ATV's "Star Soccer"
30/Dec    Arsenal 3 (Stapleton, Rice, Sunderland) Birmingham City 1 (Francis(pen)) +M/G
06/Jan     Showed Yorkshire coverage of Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Johnson) Arsenal 1 (Sunderland) [FA Cup 3rd Round] +M
13/Jan     Arsenal 2 (Price, Stapleton) Nottingham Forest 1 (Robertson) +Y
20/Jan     Fulham 2 (Davies, Guthrie) Sunderland 2 (Bolton, Rowell) +E/G
27/Jan     FA Cup R4 ties including Anglia's Ipswich 0 Orient 0 *Brian Moore commentating for LWT viewers +Y/M  (LWT presumably intended to show PP'd Fulham v Man Utd)
03/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester City 3 (Kidd(pen), Barnes, Channon) +T/G
10/Feb    Crystal Palace 1 (Walsh) Stoke City 1 (Irvine) +M/G
17/Feb    Bad Weather, showed ATV's match *only 5 fixtures from all divisions played. +X
24/Feb    Brentford 3 (Smith, Phillips 2(1pen)) Watford 3 (Pritchett(pen), Blissett, Jenkins) +Y/M
03/Mar    Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0 +Y/T
10/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Ardiles) Manchester United 1 (Thomas) [FA Cup QF] +M *No MOTD on BBC1 this weekend due to industrial action
17/Mar    League Cup Final *Networked highlights
24/Mar    West Ham United 5 (Devonshire, Robson, Lampard, McDowell 2) Newcastle United 0 +H/T
31/Mar    FA Cup SF *Networked highlights of Man Utd/Liverpool +X
07/Apr    Orient 3 (Mayo, Coates, Moores) Brighton & Hove Albion 3 (Sayer, Chivers, Clarke) +M/G
14/Apr    Tottenham Hotpsur 1 (Perryman) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Clement) +Y/M
21/Apr    Charlton Athletic 0 West Ham United 0 +E/G
28/Apr    Crystal Palace 2 (Swindlehurst, Murphy) Notts County 0 +S/T
05/May   Orient 0 Crystal Palace 1 (Swindlehurst) +T/G
12/May   FA Cup Final - Arsenal 3 (Talbot, Stapleton, Sunderland) Man Utd 2 (McQueen, McIlroy) *Networked live, highlights inc on Sunday Grand Prix show

Arsenal won the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over Man Utd in the so called "Five minute final", Utd drew level from 2-0 down in the last 5 minutes but only for the Gunners to score again at the death. In the league Arsenal finished a respectable 7th (Frank Stapleton netted 17, Liam Brady was the PFA's 'Player of the year') whilst a UEFA Cup run came to a halt in the 3rd round (losing to Red Star Belgrade). Tottenham marked their return to the top flight by signing two players from Argentina (host winners of the 1978 World Cup), Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricky Villa helped Spurs to a comfortable 11th, but there was bad news elsewhere for the region as QPR & Chelsea were both relegated - Chelsea finished bottom with only 5 wins all season and conceded 92 goals, fortunately two local clubs would be among the three replacing them after a thrilling promotion climax; Crystal Palace were champions of the 2nd tier whilst Brighton were runners-up, West Ham's first season down at this level since 1958 saw them finish 5th with 'Pop' Robson the 2nd tier top scorer with 24, but at the other end Millwall were relegated. In the 3rd tier Watford achieved a 2nd successive promotion with Ross Jenkins the top scorer in all divisions with 29 (Luther Blissett bagged a further 21), whilst in the 4th tier Dario Gradi's Wimbledon won promotion in only their 2nd season as members of the Football league with Alan Cork scoring 22 of the Wombles league goals.

The Big Match 1978/791978/79

Season 1979/80
All ITV regions (except Channel TV) were taken off the air in early August 1979 due to a strike which lasted for almost three months! (London viewers only had BBC1 and BBC2 from 10:07pm on 6th August until 24th October).
27/Oct     Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Hoddle) Nottingham Forest 0 +M/S
03/Nov    Crystal Palace 2 (Walsh, Swindlehurst) Manchester City 0 +T/M
10/Nov    Luton Town 1 (Saxby) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Allen) +S/G
17/Nov    Chelsea 3 (Fillery, Britton(2pens)) Charlton Athletic 1 (Tydman) +E/M
24/Nov    Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 +M/G
01/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Hoddle) Manchester United 2 (Macari, Coppell) +G/E
08/Dec    Crystal Palace 1 (Walsh) Nottingham Forest 0 +E/T
15/Dec    Chelsea 3 (Bumstead, Langley, Johnson) Swansea City 0 +G/T
22/Dec    Showed ATV & Granada matches *All but 4 fixtures this weekend were played on Friday night, there were no London home games on the Saturday
29/Dec    Crystal Palace 1 (Francis(pen)) Middlesbrough 2 (Hedley, Hodgson) +G/S
05/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Ardiles) Manchester United 1 (McIlroy(pen)) [FA Cup 3rd Round] +M/Y
12/Jan     West Ham United 1 (Bonds) Watford 1 (Rostron) +M/G
19/Jan     Brentford 2 (Phillips, Holmes) Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Hornsby, Mellor) +Y/E
26/Jan     Arsenal 2 (Nelson, Talbot) Brighton & Hove Albion 0 [FA Cup 4th Round] +M/G  (M was shown as the main match despite being 0-0, Arsenal shown last and only a few mins)
02/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Southampton 0 +M/E   (M was shown as the main match, Spurs shown last)
09/Feb    West Ham United 2 (Pearson, Hazell(og)) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Goddard) +G/E
16/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Armstrong, Hoddle 2(1pen)) Birmingham City 1 (Bertschin) [FA Cup 5th Round] +G/E
23/Feb    Crystal Palace 1 (Walsh) Everton 1 (Eastoe) +G/E
01/Mar    Chelsea 1 (Walker) Cardiff City 0 +E/T (E was shown first, before the London game)
08/Mar    West Ham United 1 (Stewart(pen)) Aston Villa 0 [FA Cup QF] +G
15/Mar    League Cup Final *Networked highlights
22/Mar    Chelsea 1 (Britton) Orient 0 +M/E
29/Mar    Crystal Palace 0 Manchester United 2 (Jordan, Thomas) +M/G
05/Apr     Queens Park Rangers 1 (Burke) Birmingham City 1 (Dillon) +M/G
12/Apr     Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 [FA Cup SF] *at Hillsborough, 1st replay was on BBC1
19/Apr     Chelsea 1 (Chivers) Notts County 0 +G/E
26/Apr     Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0 +E/M
03/May    Chelsea 3 (Fillery, Walker 2) Oldham Athletic 0 +H/M
10/May    FA Cup Final - West Ham United 1 (Brooking) Arsenal 0 *Networked live & Sunday highlights

Terry Neill's Arsenal were desperately unlucky to end the season empty handed, they reached the final of the FA Cup for the third season running after an epic four-match Semi-final v Liverpool, during which they overcame Juventus in the Semi-finals of the Cup-winners cup. John Lyall's West Ham were the Gunners opponents in the FA Cup final but Trevor Brooking's goal was enough to ensure the Hammers became the third 2nd tier club in eight seasons to lift the coveted trophy (17 year old Hammers midfielder Paul Allen was the youngest player ever to appear in a Wembley FA Cup final and may well have added a fairytale goal of his own had it not been for an appalling 'professional' foul by Willie Young). Four days later Arsenal travelled to Brussels where they met Valencia in the Cup-winners cup final at Heysel Stadium (live on BBC1) - With the score locked at 0-0 AET, the final was settled on penalties which went to sudden death, Graham Rix missed and Arsenal lost 5-4, but their final league position of 4th was their best since 1973. Crystal Palace set out to live up to their "Team of the '80's" tag by finishing 13th ahead of Tottenham in 14th, Glenn Hoddle was the PFA's 'Young player of the year' and the Spurs midfielder scored 19 league goals. In the 2nd tier, four local clubs made up the chasing pack behind the promoted sides, Chelsea missed out on goal difference with QPR, Luton and West Ham in 5th, 6th and 7th, QPR's Clive Allen was top scorer in all divisions with 28. At the other end, both Fulham and Charlton were relegated. Wimbledon were also relegated in their first season in the old Third Division.

The Big Match 1979/801979/80

Season 1980/81
"The Big Match" was moved to a Saturday night slot for this season.
09/Aug    West Ham United 0 Liverpool 1 (McDermott) [Charity Shield] *Networked Saturday night highlights from Wembley
16/Aug    Southampton 2 (Channon 2) Manchester City 0 *LWT covered this none-London match (Kevin Keegan's league debut for Saints) +G/T
23/Aug    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Crooks, Hoddle) Brighton and Hove Albion 2 (Smith 2) +G/M
30/Aug    Chelsea 1 (Chivers) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Langley) +M/E
06/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester United 0 +S/G
13/Sep    Crystal Palace 1 (Lovell) Ipswich Town 2 (Wark, Gates) +E/G
20/Sep    West Ham United 3 (Cross, Barnes, Brooking) Watford 2 (Fossett, Jackett) +M/E
27/Sep    Arsenal 1 (Rix) Nottingham Forest 0 +T/M
04/Oct    Crystal Palace 0 West Bromwich Albion 1 (Regis) *WBA manager Ron Atkinson wired up to speak to Brian Moore during the match +G/M
11/Oct    Charlton Athletic 2 (Hales, Robinson) Sheffield United 0 +M/S
18/Oct    Arsenal 2 (Gatting, Young) Sunderland 2 (Rowell, Cummins) +T/M
25/Oct    West Ham United 2 (Neighbour, Walsh(og)) Bolton Wanderers 1 (Kidd) +Y
01/Nov   Crystal Palace 1 (Nicholson) Manchester United 0 +T/M
08/Nov   Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Hoddle(pen), Crooks) Wolverhampton W. 2 (Atkinson, Richards) +S/?Y?
15/Nov    Luton Town 3 (Stein 2, Moss) West Ham United 2 (Brooking 2) +T/M
22/Nov   Arsenal 2 (McDermott, Stapleton) Everton 1 (Wright(pen)) +M/Y
29/Nov   Crystal Palace 2 (Walsh, Sealy) Manchester City 3 (Reeves, Gow 2) +G/M
06/Dec    Chelsea 0 Swansea City 0 +G/T  *Chelsea apparently brief and shown 2nd because it was such a poor game.
13/Dec    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Archibald, Hoddle) Manchester City 1 (Boyer) +E/T
20/Dec    Arsenal 2 (Rix, Vaessen) Manchester United 1 (Macari) +Y/M
27/Dec    West Ham United 2 (Holland, Allen) Orient 1 (Chiedozie) +E/M
03/Jan     Queens Park Rangers 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round] +G/Y
10/Jan     Charlton Athletic 3 (Tydeman, Hales, Walker) Hull City 2 (Robertson, Edwards) +?/?
17/Jan     Crystal Palace 0 Wolverhampton W. 0 +G
24/Jan     Showed other region's FA Cup 4th Round ties including Yorkshire coverage of Barnsley 1 (Aylott) Enfield 1 (Burton) +G/T
31/Jan     West Ham United 5 (Goddard, Pike, Lampard, Devonshire 2) Preston North End 0 +S/E
07/Feb    Chelsea 3 (Droy, Mayes 2) Cambridge United 0 +M
14/Feb    Showed Southern coverage of Southampton 0 Everton 0 [FA Cup R5] *poss Brian Moore comm. for LWT (David Bobin for Southern) +E/M
21/Feb    Fulham 3 (Davies, Doyle(og), Lock(pen)) Portsmouth 0 +G/S
28/Feb    Watford 1 (Poskett) West Ham United 2 (Cross 2) +Y/E
07/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Miller, Roberts) Exeter City 0 [FA Cup QF] +M
14/Mar    Showed other region's games - M/E/Y
21/Mar    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Crooks, Archibald) Aston Villa 0 +M
28/Mar    Arsenal 1 (Sunderland) Liverpool 0 +S/G
04/Apr    Charlton Athletic 1 (Madden) Huddersfield Town 2 (Brown, Kindon) +M/E (M was shown first, before the London game)
11/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Archibald, Hoddle) Wolves 2 (Hibbitt, Carr(pen)) [FA Cup SF] *played at Hillsborough, Tyler commentated
18/Apr    Crystal Palace 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 3 (Gregory 2, Smith) +M/E
25/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Hoddle) Liverpool 1 (Gayle) +T/E
02/May    Showed other region's games - E/T/M
09/May    FA Cup Final - Spurs 1 (Hutchison(og)) Man City 1 (Hutchison) AET *Networked live & Sunday highlights

1980/81 was some season for 2nd Division West Ham, their FA Cup triumph the previous May granted them a place in Europe and they went on to reach the Quarter-finals of the Cup-winners cup (losing out to Dynamo Tbilisi), there were also two trips to Wembley - both against Liverpool - the Charity Shield match was lost in August but the League Cup final in March was drawn 1-1 (highlights were on BBC1's Match of the Day which was now on Sunday afternoons), Liverpool emerged victorious in the Villa Park replay yet the season was to end in promotion glory for West Ham who were runaway champions of the 2nd tier (David Cross was the 2nd tier's top scorer on 22, Paul Goddard added a further 17). 1981 was to go down in history as Spurs year though, as they won the FA Cup in arguably the greatest Cup final of all time by overcoming Manchester City 3-2 in the first ever Wembley staged replay, the match included a particularly memorable solo effort from Ricky Villa (one of his two replay goals with Garth Crooks netting the other), Steve Archibald meanwhile was the top flight's joint leading scorer on 20 as Spurs finished 10th. Arsenal had a good season too by again improving on their league standing by finishing 3rd, but Crystal Palace were relegated as the bottom club (manager Terry Venables had left for QPR in October, the return of Malcolm Allison lasted 2 months before Dario Gradi took over). In the 3rd tier Charlton won promotion under Mike Bailey (who then left to take charge at Brighton) and Dave Bassett's Wimbledon were promoted again in yo-yo fashion from the 4th.

The Big Match 1980/811980/81

Season 1981/82
"The Big Match" was back on Sunday afternoon's for this season.
29/Aug    West Ham United 1 (Stewart(pen) Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (McNab(pen)) +T/E
05/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Villa) Aston Villa 3 (Donovan 2, Mortimer) +T/M
12/Sep    Crystal Palace 2 (Walsh 2) Charlton Athletic 0 +E/Y
19/Sep    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Stainrod) Crystal Palace 0 +Y/M
26/Sep    Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0 +E/M
03/Oct    Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Hazard, Falco 2) Nottingham Forest 0 +S/G
10/Oct    Showed HTV coverage of Swansea City 2 Arsenal 0 *Brian Moore commentating.  +T/G
17/Oct    Brighton & Hove Albion 3 (Foster, Case, Ritchie) Liverpool 3 (Dalglish, R.Kennedy, McDermott) +G/M
24/Oct    Watford 3 (Bolton, Barnes, Blissett) Norwich City 0 +E/G
31/Oct    West Ham United 3 (Neighbour, Goddard, Stewart(pen)) Middlesbrough 2 (Woof, Thomson(pen)) +S
07/Nov   Tottenham Hotpsur 1 (Crooks) West Bromich Albion 2 (Hughton(og), Jol) +E/Y/M
14/Nov   Fulham 1 (Brown) Walsall 1 (Penn) +M/Y
21/Nov   Chelsea 1 (Lee) Grimsby Town 1 (Ford) +G/T
28/Nov   Arsenal 1 (McDermott) Everton 0 +?/?
05/Dec    Southampton 3 (Moran, Keegan, Armstrong) Manchester United 2 (Stapleton, Robson)  *this was LWT coverage. +?/?
12/Dec    Showed ATV coverage of Leicester 1 (Lineker) Watford 1 (Jenkins) +Y & World Club Championship, LWT likely intended to cover a game that was PP'd
19/Dec    Showed Granada's match *Intended match was postponed, few fixtures played this weekend. +X
26/Dec    Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 2 (Walker, Mayes) +G/M
02/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Crooks) Arsenal 0 [FA Cup 3rd Round] *Granada covered Watford 1 (Lohman) Man United 0. +G/M
09/Jan     *Intended match postponed, showed other region's matches including Granada's Oldham 1 (Palmer) Watford 1 (Jenkins) +Y
16/Jan     *Intended match postponed, showed TVS coverage of Brighton 1 West Ham United 0  +Y/G
23/Jan     Luton Town 0 Ipswich Town 3 (Brazil, Gates 2) [FA Cup 4th round] *Moore comm. for LWT, Harrison for Anglia.  +?/?
30/Jan     West Ham United 3 (Goddard, Cross 2) West Bromwich Albion 1 (King) +Y/M
06/Feb    Watford 1 (Blissett(pen)) Chelsea 0 +G
13/Feb    Chelsea 2 (Rhoades-Brown, Lee) Liverpool 0 [FA Cup 5th Round] +M/E
20/Feb    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Hoddle 2(1pen)) Manchester City 0 +G
27/Feb    Arsenal 0 Swansea City 2 (Kennedy, R.James(pen)) +S/G
06/Mar    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Allen) Crystal Palace 0 [FA Cup QF]  +M/G
13/Mar    League Cup Final - Spurs 1 (Archibald) Liverpool 3 (Whelan 2, Rush) AET *Networked highlights
20/Mar    Crystal Palace 3 (Smillie 2, Mabbutt) Luton Town 3 (Antic, Stein, Moss(pen)) +G/E
27/Mar    Fulham 4 (Brown 2, Davies, O’Donnell) Carlisle United 1 (Robson) +G/Y
03/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Crooks, Wilson(og)) Leicester City 0 [FA Cup SF] *played at Villa Park. +G/S
10/Apr    West Ham United 1 (Goddard) Swansea City 1 (R.James) +?/?
17/Apr    Luton Town 3 (Stein 3(2pens)) Newcastle United 2 (Mills, Trewick(pen)) +Y/G
24/Apr    Southampton 2 (Channon, Keegan (pen)) Liverpool 3 (Rush, Whelan 2) *this was LWT coverage.  +M/G
01/May   Charlton Athletic 1 (Mehmet) Watford 1 (Jenkins) +T/M
08/May   West Ham United 1 (Cross) Manchester United 1 (Moran) +E/G
15/May   Fulham 3 (Davies 2, Coney) Preston North End 0 +Y/E
22/May   FA Cup Final - Spurs 1 (Hoddle) QPR (Fenwick) 1 AET *Networked live & Sunday highlights

Tottenham Hotspur established themselves as London's top club by finishing 4th (one place ahead of Arsenal) and winning the FA Cup for the 2nd successive year, again in a Wembley replay, it was Spurs 4th trip to Wembley this season following the Charity Shield draw with Villa and a League Cup final defeat to Liverpool, Spurs also reached the SF's of the Cup-winners cup (losing out to Barcelona 2-1 on agg) and captain Steve Perryman was named 'Footballer of the year'. Arsenal's European adventures came to an end in the 2nd round of the UEFA Cup on away goals to Winterslag. West Ham's return to the top flight saw them finish a creditable 9th and joining them next season would be David Pleat's Luton (who were 2nd tier champions) and Graham Taylor's Watford (who were runners-up). The beaten 1982 FA Cup finalists were Terry Venables' 2nd tier QPR who only finished 2 points short of promotion, games at Loftus Road were now being played on a controversial plastic pitch (the first of its' kind to be used by a league club). Orient's twelve season stint at 2nd tier level finally came to an end as they finished 22nd, Fulham were promoted in the opposite direction from the 3rd tier (with 24 goals from Gordon Davies ) whilst Wimbledon's yo-yo period continued with relegation back down to the Fourth Division.

The Big Match 1981/82

Season 1982/83
"The Big Match" was on Saturday night's again for this season.
21/Aug    Tottenham Hotspur 0 Liverpool 1 (Rush) [Charity Shield] *Networked Saturday night highlights from Wembley
28/Aug    Watford 2 (Armstrong, Rice) Everton 0 +M
04/Sep    Showed Granada coverage of Everton 3 (Sheedy, Wright, McMahon) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Archibald) +E/M
11/Sep    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Mabbutt) Manchester City 2 (Baker 2) +G/T
18/Sep    Queens Park Rangers 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2 (McCulloch, Bannister)
25/Sep    Fulham 3 (Davies 2, Coney) Leeds United 2 (Thomas, Graham) +G/M
02/Oct    Luton Town 1 (Hill) Manchester United 1 (Grimes) *Anglia also showed this but with Gerry Harrison commentating.  +S/M
09/Oct    West Ham United 3 (Martin, Pike, Clark) Liverpool 1 (Souness) +M
16/Oct    Arsenal 2 (Sunderland, Woodcock) West Bromwich Albion 0 +M/X/G
23/Oct    Chelsea 3 (Bumstead, Pates, Robson) Charlton Athletic 1 (Hales) +G/M
30/Oct    West Ham United 3 (Goddard, Stewart(pen), Pike) Manchester United 1 (Moran) +M/T
06/Nov    Luton Town 2 (Moss, Walsh) Arsenal 2 (Rix, Talbot) *Anglia were at Norwich.  +M/G
13/Nov    Crystal Palace 1 (Mabbutt) Leeds United 1 (Connor) +S
20/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Archibald 2) West Ham United 1 (Van Der Elst) +M/E
27/Nov    Arsenal 2 (Robson, Talbot) Watford 4 (Barnes 3, Jackett) +G/M
04/Dec    Charlton Athletic 2 (McAllister, Simonsen) Newcastle United 0 +E/X
11/Dec    Luton Town 3 (Walsh, Stein 2) Manchester City 1 (Cross) *Anglia were at Ipswich
18/Dec    Watford 2 (Jenkins, Taylor) Ipswich Town 1 (Mariner)
01/Jan     West Ham United 3 (Cottee, Stewart(pen), Pike) Tottenham Hotspur 0 +S/E
08/Jan     Charlton Athletic 2 (Robinson, Hales) Ipswich Town 3 (Thijssen, Wark 2(1pen)) [FA Cup 3rd Round]
15/Jan     Queens Park Rangers 2 (Gregory 2) Newcastle United 0 +E/M
22/Jan     Showed other region's matches - G/T/M
29/Jan     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Crooks, Gibson) West Bromich Albion 1 (Whitehead) [FA Cup 4th Round]
05/Feb    Showed Granada coverage of Man City 2 (Tueart(pen), Cross) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Gibson, Brooke(pen))
12/Feb    Showed other region's matches - G/X/M
19/Feb    Showed Central coverage of Aston Villa 4 (Shaw, Morley, Gibson, Cowans) Watford 1 (Blissett(pen)) [FA Cup 5th Round] +G/T
26/Feb    Watford 2 (Blisset, Rostron) Aston Villa 1 (Walters) +G/M  (G was shown first, before the London game)
05/Mar    Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0 +G/M
12/Mar    Showed other region's FA Cup QF's - G/S
19/Mar    West Ham United 1 (Bould(og)) Stoke City 1 (Thomas) +G/S
26/Mar    Fulham 4 (Wilson 2, Davies, Lewington) Grimsby Town 0 +E/M
02/Apr     West Ham United 2 (Van Der Elst, Swindlehurst) Watford 1 (Callaghan)
09/Apr     Luton Town 2 (Aylott, Moss) Aston Villa 1 (Shaw) +M/T
16/Apr     Brighton & Hove Albion 2 (Case, Robinson) Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Mirocevic) [FA Cup SF] *Networked highlights from Highbury, Brian Moore for LWT
23/Apr     Fulham 0 Leicester City 1 (Wilson) +E/G/X
30/Apr     Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Archibald 2) Liverpool 0 +S/T
07/May    Fulham 2 (Wilson 2) Carlisle United 0 +M/G
14/May    Derby County 1 (Davison) Fulham 0 *Brian Moore commentating on a match outside the region, Central were at Leicester (also shown)
21/May    FA Cup Final - Brighton 2 (Smith, Stevens) Man Utd 2 (Stapleton, Wilkins) AET *Networked live, but no highlights this year on LWT

It was an incredible debut season for Graham Taylor's Watford in the top flight, they were runners-up with Luther Blissett top scorer in all league's with 27. Tottenham finished 4th and were knocked out of the Cup-winners cup at the 2nd round stage by Bayern Munich, Arsenal suffered a 1st Round exit in the UEFA Cup and finished a disappointing 10th in what turned out to be Terry Neill's last full season in charge, but the Gunners did reach the Semi-finals of the FA Cup (only to lose 2-1 to Man United). West Ham finished 8th whilst Luton's return to the top flight saw them avoid relegation on the final day of the season thanks to a victory at Man City. Terry Venables' Queens Park Rangers made their plastic pitch advantage tell by running away with the 2nd tier championship whilst Fulham looked to be on course to join them in a successive promotion (The Big Match featured the Cottagers on no less than 4 occasions in the final 8 weeks), but Malcolm Macdonald's team ended the campaign in 4th (1 point behind Leicester). There would be yet another change of division for Dave Bassett's Wimbledon who won the 4th Division with 98 points (John Leslie scoring 22).

The Big Match 1982/831982/83

Midweek Football on TV 1968-1983
Networked Midweek Highlights
1968/69 - 1982/83

ITV football 1983-1988
The Network Years
1983/84 - 1987/88



Cup FinalsHome PageEuropean finals

London football 1968-83 links
The Arsenal History
Includes line-ups and scorers for all 1968-83 fixtures
Chelsea Football Club
Includes line-ups and scorers for all 1968-83 fixtures
The Millwall History Files
Terrific site for season stats.
Includes stats for all 1968-83 seasons
Watford Archive
Includes line-ups and scorers for all 1968-83 fixtures
West Ham Stats
Includes Hammers line-ups and scorers for all 1968-83 fixtures

Brian Moore links
The Independant tribute , Guardian tribute , BBCi obituary , BFI Screenonline

LWT stuff
TV Ark - LWT section

ITV football 1955-1968