11 things we loved about Cup Final Grandstand

 

Sadly, Grandstand is no more. But FA Cup Final day brings memories of the BBC's seminal Saturday sports show flooding back. Here, we celebrate the ingredients that went into the best programme of the year - Cup Final Grandstand...

1. The opening timpani drum of the theme tune marking the beginning of an all-day assault on a tray of cheap lager

2. The Road to Wembley highlights starting early, and invariably including lines such as ‘In round one, postman Terry Quilt delivered a knock-out blow to Division Two opponents’ and ‘Bricklayer Darren Flange laid the foundations with a brace of goals for non-league Penge’

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3. Tony Gubba loitering outside the team hotel, and then smuggling himself onto the bus for 'the short trip to Wembley'

4. The players being too busy with their card schools to talk to the veteran albino reporter

5. Fans being stopped on their way up Wembley Way for their thoughts. The camera crew finding the occasional random K-list celebrity, such as Jacko out of Brush Strokes

6. The pre-match walkabout on the pitch. Tony Gubba, having freed himself from the toilet on the coach, turns up by the goal to grab more pre-match interviews. He manages to nab the assistant physio

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7. The players in their Cup Final suits prodding the pitch with leather slip-ons and waving to friends, relatives and mistresses in the crowd

8. Really bad pre-match entertainment, invariably involving a canine version of It’s A Knockout

9. All the flags and banners (at least before certain Premiership clubs started leaving free flags under the seats in order to create an atmosphere) when the teams emerge from the tunnel

10. Cup final hymn ‘Abide With Me’ – works every time (especially given that at least eight lagers should have been consumed by this stage)

11. Socks being rolled down in the last 10 minutes of the match. Something to do with the ‘leg-sapping wide open spaces of the famous Wembley pitch’

And as one final bonus, we give you this link to 'Gubba Lookalikes' by the legendary Half Man Half Biscuit