Monday 22 June 1987

…Wimbledon is starting tomorrow not today.
There was no play whatsoever due to some unfortunate circumstances that
fell from the skies above: RAIN!
No Wimbledon and also no Test Match between England and Pakistan.
So today’s sports summaries on the TV and radio will only be the noise of rain…

Gags about wet weather at Wimbledon. Now there’s something that’ll never catch on.

Sunday 22 March 1987

…I didn’t find out who won the Littlewoods Cup, or the Milk Cup
as it used to be called.
At least I think I don’t know.
It might have been between Spurs and Liverpool, and Spurs won.
This afternoon I rollerbooted in the rain and fell over, then came in to listen to
The Lord of the Rings on Radio 4.
Watched Supergran, some International Athletics, a bit of Antiques Roadshow
and precisely 30 minutes of Dr No.
Yes, even while Dad was there in the room.
Then I had to switch over to the BAFTA Awards…

My confusion about who had won the Littlewoods Cup final is perhaps explained by the fact it had yet to take place. The match was actually on 5 April.

As such I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about here. Both Spurs and Liverpool were in the semi-finals, but in different matches, held nowhere near today’s date of 22 March. Indeed I see that Spurs had to play their match against Arsenal three times before a winner emerged. And it wasn’t Spurs.

Anyway, that clearly wasn’t the most important event of the day. The first 30 minutes of Dr No represent perhaps the most boring half hour in the Bond canon, but at least I got to watch them, as they were broadcast, in my own home.

Something of a result, then.

Which is more than can be said for Liverpool, who went on to lose the 1987 Littlewoods Cup final to Arsenal.

Do football programmes still have illustrated covers?

Thursday 12 March 1987

…This morning Chris Balderstone and Laurie Potter turned up to
give a talk on cricket and to show people how to play properly.
They asked questions and if you got one right they gave you a prize.
I managed to answer one right and got a 1983 Guide to the Prudential Cup.
Honestly.
One girl got a book priced £1.95 for answering her question right!
Afterwards they gave out scoresheets for a 1985 match and a picture of the
team, and how to join the team, and signed autographs.
After break we had a quiz on what we had learned.
Wow…

I’ve had to look up who these two people were. Both were professional cricketers for Leicestershire, although I think only Potter was still playing for the team in 1987.

What were they doing coming to our school? I haven’t a clue. Perhaps the local education authority had launched another new initiative.

But evidently it had yet to be finessed; witness the handing out of scoresheets from a match of two years previously, and worse, the awarding of a “prize” that covered a competition almost half a decade ago. Obviously they thought we’d lap up any old tat, being no old enough to know better.

The Prudential Cup was actually the World Cup. Now why didn’t they say so? Not that I would have shown it any more respect, still having to reach the age of starting to hoard stuff simply because it was old.

A book “priced £1.95”! It was as if a yuppie had moved into our town.

Saturday 18 October 1986

…I got up at 7.30 and got dressed at 8.00 to watch
The Muppet Babies, The Queen in China and
Saturday Superstore till 12.15pm.
Bought Whizzer and Chips as always and I got a book on
inventions and the Boys Handbook, or rather mum and dad got it,
from a second hand book sale.
England are playing Australia in the final after beating
West Germany 2-1 in the Hockey World Cup For Men…

That was the official name for the tournament. Oh yes. Don’t think for a minute I was merely taking another fickle interest in the latest big sporting occasion.

Saturday 4 October 1986

…Top of the First Division is Notts Forest with Man Utd at the bottom.
Leicester beat Man City 2-1…

I’ve no idea why I decided to mention this. Nor, for that matter, why I did this:

Roundhay 17, Met Police 18

It’s pasted into my diary. I can only guess it was another passing eruption of my fickle fondness for recording details of events I otherwise had no concern with whatsoever.

I never did it again.

Still, Manchester United – five points!

Friday 25 July 1986

…Yes, the events of the Commonwealth Games began with Bowls, Boxing, Swimming, Shooting, Weightlifting, Rowing and Cycling on today’s menu.
Bought a book called Guide to the Commonwealth Games by Desmond Lynam this afternoon. It was £3.95.
Started filling in the results which was a squash.
Watched Bowls, Badminton and Swimming…

Somewhere down the years I lost this book, which is a shame as I remember it being quite a thorough effort by the BBC – sorry, by “Desmond Lynam”.

In order to keep the book up to date, for the first and possibly last time in my life I made a point of sitting down in front of the television to watch a game of bowls.

On the back of the book was the sentence: “A busy summer for Des”. I guess it was around this time that Lynam began to acquire the status of national institution, having already anchored all the biggest sporting events at least once and in doing so found the right pitch for his soon-to-be-trademark smooth patter.

He does seem to have been all over the place in the summer of 1986, thanks to the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships.

I would splash out on another bit of BBC-related Commonwealth Games merchandise before the Games were through, but more of that later. In the meantime here’s an all too brief excerpt of Des in his Commonwealth cubicle.