Classic TV sports themes from yesteryear available at your fingertips.
‘Goal Crazy’ by Rod Argent
‘The Match’ theme (ITV 1988-1992)
Now Rod is an interesting fella. He has many credits, not least playing keyboards on The Who’s album ‘Who Are You’, and in 1972 he formed a band called ‘Argent’ who recorded the original version of ‘God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You’ long before Petra and KISS made it famous.
Somehow he found himself writing football TV themes for ITV, and after successfully masterminding their World Cup theme for 1986 (under the guise ‘Silsoe’) he then came up with this for ITV’s new Sunday afternoon live coverage called ‘The Match’.
You only have to suffer 2 minutes of Adrian Chiles introducing ITV’s football coverage nowadays before you find yourself asking the question; ‘Whatever happened to Elton Welsby..???’
A true classic; Remember getting comfy in your seat as Brian Moore was about to share his tremendous enthusiasm for the game with you? Muddy pitches, bad haircuts, forthright opinion – it was all coming your way – and you loved it!
ITV’s World Cup Mexico ’86 Theme Tune
This is one where ITV hit the spot, so popular was this tune that it was used for various other shows many years after Mexico ‘86, most notably ‘Saint and Greavsie.’
ITV went with the same Aztec-oriented style that the BBC embraced but with a modern twist, something they always tried to do. It was a brighter and more melodic number than it’s BBC rival could produce, so much so the song was eventually released as a single which reached number 48 in the UK charts.
BBC World Cup ’86 Theme Tune
The BBC are the Daddies when it comes to sporting themes, they’ve been kicking ITVs butt in this department for decades.
You can almost feel the uber-confidence exuding from their TV Theme Department (where else does the licence fee go..?) as you listen to this epic anthem. An extravagant, rousing piece with traditional Mexican instruments, this one by Paul Hart and Helmut Zacharias for the 1986 World Cup was a fine effort by anyone’s standards.
The problem was it wasn’t as good as ITV’s…
‘Sportsnight’ – by Tony Hatch
Sportsnight was the BBC’s midweek sports offering between 1968 and 1997. Presenters included legends such as David Coleman, Frank Bough and Des Lynam. The theme for the show was (rather imaginatively) called ‘Sportsnight’, and was composed by Tony Hatch, himself a legend of TV themes.
The piece is famous for its ‘morse code’ opening signature, giving the effect of speed. Hatch composed many other TV themes including Crossroads, Emmerdale and Neighbours. Hatch was no stranger to the pop charts either, being particularly well known for his collaborations with Petula Clark. The pair’s most famous song is the 1964 classic ‘Downtown’.
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