THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Best The stuff you get on Channel 5 at 3am. The advent of late night Asian and African football has been a godsend. Worst Football Extra – in which ITV manage to edit all the drama and excitement out of three whole divisions of football. Anthony Hobbs

Best Probably Socccer AM with the lovely Helen Chamberlain. Worst Football First on Scottish Television. David Munro

Worst was probably the feeble attempt to discredit Matt Busby on Rep­utations, although David Ginola’s app­earance on the thing with Antoine De Caunes was pretty shabby and Football Unzipped made me feel vaguely ill. Harry Pearson

Best Sky’s football journalist-led rumour-fest Hold The Back Page . The look on Rob Shepherd’s face whenever Patrick Barclay starts quoting Voltaire is priceless. Worst Anything on ITV, especially On The Ball and the frankly pointless Champions League Preview. Ian Cusack

Best Football Extra – the reporting isn’t great (Hi, roving reporter Elton Welsby), but at least all the goals do get shown. Worst On The Ball. Barry Venison is far too good for it, a sentence I never thought I’d write. John Earls

Best The MOTD profiles of famous players, bizarrely shown during the day on BBC2. Worst The Reputations programme about Matt Busby was deeply disappointing. However, it was beaten into second place by the bravura tackiness of Football Unzipped which wasn’t a programme about football, more of an exercise in pimping. Alan Hansen leaving a trail of drool behind Michael Owen in Football Millionaires was another low spot. Joyce Woolridge

Best Sgorio on S4C (Welsh Channel 4). The condensed cream of continental action with a Welsh commentary that still makes more sense than Big Ron. Worst On The Ball with Barry Venison and Gabby Yorath. Since they have no Premiership action to show they just talk about it. Paint dries, planks warp, grass grows, Barry and Gabby talk. Dave Robinson

Worst A Knife in the Head of Dino Baggio – ludicrous, moronic and frankly baffling. Polish “satire” crying out for the Frank Skinner version (or perhaps he wrote it). Stephanie Pride

Worst Any big match with Wooden Bob and his fluffed lines, but I noticed they made a special effort at amateurism for the Cham­pions (sic) League final. Gary Parkinson

Best The no-nonsense, lots-of-goals Football Extra. Now if only they would show it when normal people were conscious.Worst Sky’s Sunday morning effort Soccer Extra, with the execreble Brian Woolnough and possibly the worst guest roster on TV. Mark Howell

Best Would have to be ITV’s late night Nationwide weekly review. Like an Asda pizza: no poncy frills, just plenty of gubbings.Worst Undoubtedly On The Ball. The sickening on-screen chemistry between preening blondes Venison and Yorath actually reduced the glossy joys of Bury v Port Vale. AS Thomas

Best The one about people watching the World Cup on TV in different countries around the world. Worst Football Millionaires and Playing The Field. John Williams

Worst On The Ball, quite possibly the worst football programme ever on terrestrial television. The battle between the presenters to see who is the most inept brings perverse joy for as long as you can stomach it. Gabby won the season award for asking the Cup final ref who he wanted to win. Philip Cornwall

Best BBC’s Football Family Trees on Manchester United was rather good, I thought. Worst Anything involving Barry Venison, which seems to cover most things on ITV these days. Steve Field

Best All the “We love Man Utd” programmes before the European Cup final. Worst Alan Hansen’s Football Millionaires. Ashley Shaw

Worst That thing on Channel 5 on a Sunday night where they all sit about talking football but can only afford to show you their own footage – so they constantly try to wheedle “Chelsea in Europe” into the debate. Alex Anderson

From WSC 149 July 1999. What was happening this month

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