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Nostalgia for a remote time on TV

This summer of sport has left me with an RSI - a remote-control stress injury.

The World Cup, Wimbledon, golf and cricket have taken their toll on my finely tuned body, tuned as in to BBC, ITV or Sky. The Commonwealth Games only rubbed saltire into my wounds.

How different things were in the 1950s and 60s. Fitba was a rarity on our 14ins black and white Ferranti, and we made do with a more esoteric diet. The Horse of the Year Show was a must.

In our scheme the nearest we got to a horse was tinned beef for Tuesday tea. Nevertheless, we were up with all the technicalities. Four faults for a fence down, three faults for a refusal. Before televised sport, a refusal was what you got from the lassie next door.

Then there were the swimming internationals. Plucky Brits wallowed in the wake of hirsute and muscular Russians.

Some of their blokes were pretty good as well. Televised 10-pin bowling was another must see, the bowling alley being the only place with more strikes than the coal mines.

BBC's Sportsreel was the highlight of the week. One match was covered each Saturday, usually the only game that ended 0-0.

Even if there were goals, the single camera was more likely to catch the flight of a passing gull than the flight of the ball. In 1957 the BBC missed all six second-half goals, five of them for Celtic, in an Old Firm cup final, prompting much talk of conspiracy in the east end. Plus ca change, then.

The commentators were real men, no Hazels or Clares in those benighted times. Unheated commentary positions were open to the elements.

The one at Pittodrie resembled a Himalayan base camp, only more exposed. I confess to scoring a direct hit on BBC commentator George Davidson on a particularly snowy night in the north-east.

Mind you, film quality made it look as if all matches, even in August, were played on snowy nights in the northeast.

Improved technology has given us action replays, multiple camera angles and high-definition pictures. We even have goal-line technology. Where was that when it was needed in 1966?

Yet, televised sport no longer excites me as it did in those early flickering days. That's the honest truth, in black and white.

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