January 22 – This Day in Soccer

First Live Soccer Radio Broadcast

With the increasing amount soccer coverage on television (even in the United States) with such soccer channels as Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN soccer coverage, Setanta Sports, etc, it is hard to fathom a time when if you were not at the stadium you only read about the game in the newspaper.

But that used to be the case until 1927 on this day in soccer history when the first live radio commentary of a football match was aired in England.  The match was between Arsenal Football club and Sheffield United at Highbury.  The match ended 1-1.

The airing used an interesting dual commentator set up.  The pitch was divided into eight sections with one commentator on hand only to call out the section of the pitch while a color commentator announced the action. The call of the football match also lead to the saying ‘back to square one’ as the goalkeeper was in square 1 and so back passes would result in this phrase being used.

Needless to say the fans loved being able to catch the live action on the radio and so the first step was taken in the coverage of the game.

Soccer Birthdays

1907 – Dixie Dean, English footballer (d. 1980)
1938 – Altair, Brazilian footballer
1958 – Nikos Anastopoulos, Greek football player and manager
1968 – Frank Lebœuf, French footballer
1968 – Mauricio Serna, Colombian footballer
1971 – Stan Collymore, English footballer
1973 – Rogerio Ceni, Brazilian footballer
1973 – Said Larossi, soccer player (Emmen/Vitesse)
1974 – Pavel Mikhalevitch, soccer player (NEC)
1977 – Hidetoshi Nakata, Japanese footballer
1980 – Jonathan Woodgate, English footballer
1981 – Ibrahima Sonko, French footballer
1982 – Fabricio Coloccini, Argentine footballer
1984 – Maceo Rigters, Dutch footballer
1985 – Mohamed Sissoko, Malian footballer

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