Football and TV

This week the guys look back at what football coverage was like in the 1990s, and how it changed throughout the decade. Join Ash Rose and guests Chelsea regular Paddy O’Sullivan and Grimsby fan Paul Benson as they chat through everything from Elton Welsby to Thursday nights on Channel 5. Former Spurs, Pompey and one of the original Soccer AM crew Gary Stevens is on the phone too.

Alive and Kicking: The 90s Football Podcast Trailer

Alive and Kicking the 90s podcast is due to launch on the 10th August. Ash Rose talks about what to expect and pays homage to a decade the changed football forever. If the 1990s are now retro, this this is your retro celebration! From the fun to the farcical, classic to cringe Alive and Kicking has football in the 1990s all wrapped up just for you!

A West Twelve Media production

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Sky Sports are Alive and Kicking

As you may have seen this week Sky Sports launched their advert for the forthcoming Premier League campaign. It features Thierry Henry cleverly dropped into some of the most memorable moments from the League’s past twenty-three years – including many from the 1990s. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d advise you to check it out because it’s one of the channels best for many a year.

It got me thinking and reminiscing about their first ever Premier League advert ahead of the inaugural season in 1992-93 (to be honest, it doesn’t take a lot for my mind to drift back to then anyway). Of course back then there was none of this high-tech tomfoolery of a current pundit reliving Fergie’s touchline dance or Keegan’s Anfield slump. No we had John Salako taking a shower, Anders Limpar getting breakfast in bed and Paul Stewart swanning around like he was the sixth member of New Kids On The Block. It sounds like a bad Alan Partridge pitch, but to be honest it was one of the most exciting advert’s of it’s era and echoed Sky’s slogan for that moment – a whole new ball game.

In between the memorable moments I’ve mentioned, the bulk of the advert is taken-up by at least one player from each of the twenty-two teams getting ready for the new season. This includes Vinnie Jones mucking around with a hairbrush, and Tony Daley showing off his glistening six-pack while lifting weights. All set to a backdrop of a song that has stayed for me for the rest of my life, and spurned a small brand in my portfolio of work.

‘Alive and Kicking’ by Simple Minds was the song chosen by Sky Sports to echo in this new era for football and the fledgling channel, and whoever made the final call on this deserves a bright coloured Richard Keys blazer for their efforts. As soon as I hear the first few bars of this wonderful ditty, I am transformed back to simpler time, a time when my only concern was football and my obsession with the beautiful game was in full swing. And by the time you get to the chorus and Jim Kerr is belting out the name of the song, I’m lost in a world of Gordon Strachan’s mullet, Darren Anderton doing sit-ups (yes, really) and a young Ash trying to spot Andy Sinton and the QPR badge every time the advert came on the telly.

It’s an advert that can evoke a feeling like no other can, and was why I chose the title of the song as the title of my book – and now subsequent podcast. Actually one of my favourite memories of writing the book was  kindly receiving the image from Sky Sports that accompanied this advert to use in the title. I hadn’t seen this picture for at least a decade, and the nostalgia almost got the better of me when opening that email for the very first time. That image now sits proudly as the cover picture on both our Twitter and Facebook accounts, as that picture and advert sums up the the beginning of the big changes we saw within football during the 1990s.

So for old times sake – and because we’ll be discussing this advert on our first pod next month – take yourself back and watch the advert all over again. Thierry and Sky Sports may have all the high-tech glitz and glamour in 2015, but give me Simple Minds and Sky’s 1992 dream team any day of the week.

‘Ba da da dah dah dah, ba ba dah dah,……’