Monday, April 9, 2012

9 April 1938 - You Know, I Think It's Going To Catch On

On 9 April 1938, England hosted Scotland at Wembley for the first match to be shown live on television in its entirety.

The BBC expanded from radio into television in 1936. But for the first several months, the only football they showed included a recording of Arsenal's 1936-37 season opener against Everton and a short live exhibition in September 1937 between Arsenal's first team and reserves.

For their first full live match, the BBC chose the final game of the 1938 British Home Championship, played at Wembley Stadium. The outcome was irrelevant, as England had already taken the honors; their wins over Ireland and Wales left them with four points, while Scotland had managed only a single point after a draw with Ireland and a loss to Wales (those other two teams had ended their campaigns three weeks earlier and were behind England in the standings).

Nevertheless, a packed house turned out for the match and saw Scotland take an early lead with a strike from inside forward Tommy Walker, which turned out to be the only goal of the day.

Live broadcasts continued, with the next one being the FA Cup Final between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End the following month.

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