History of TV sport in Scotland

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Notable radio commentaries

The first Scottish football running commentary was Dundee v Celtic on 12 February 1927 (although the Scotsman lists the fixture as Rangers v St Mirren). The first commentary of the Scottish Cup Final followed on 16 April 1927, a game between Celtic and East Fife at Hampden Park.

The first Scottish wartime match commentary was a thrilling New Year’s Day Edinburgh derby which finished up with the scoreline: Hibernian 5, Hearts 6.[1][2][3][4][5]

First Scottish football teams shown on television

Neither the Scottish nor English Football Associations permitted league games to be televised at first, so the initial televised games featuring Scottish teams were either amateur matches or professional teams in charity matches.

The first televised football match involving a Scottish team was the clash of two amateur sides on a bank holiday friendly: Walthamstow Avenue vs Queen's Park in London on 26 March 1951.[6] However, viewers in Scotland could not view the match as television had only reached London and the English Midlands by this time.

  • Bank Holiday Football, Monday 26 March 1951, 15:10–17:00
    This afternoon viewers visit Walthamstow Avenue football ground in north-east London to see the whole of this special challenge match. Commentators: Jimmy Jewell and Peter Thomson.

The first Scottish football team shown on television in Scotland was the national schoolboys' side:

Hibernian, however, holds the accolade of being the first professional Scottish football team to appear on television in Scotland:

  • Floodlit Professional Football: Arsenal v. Hibernian, Wednesday 22 October 1952, 20:15–21:10
    A charity match at the Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, in aid of the National Playing Fields Association and of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (Sports Development Fund). Commentary on the second half by Kenneth Wolstenholme and Peter Thomson.[7]

The first televised football game from a Scottish ground was an amateur fixture:

The first professional football game from a Scottish ground to be shown on television in Scotland was a friendly match:


  1. 'Forgotten hero fooled the Nazis', Scotsman, 11 December 2001.
  2. 'I rescued Easter Road from the mists of time', Scotsman, 18 December 2001.
  3. 'The Legendary Phantom Football Match', Eve Scherr, 2 June 2010.
  4. 'The Joy of Six: new year football fixtures', Guardian, 30 December 2011.
  5. 'Classic match: Hibs v Hearts, New Year’s Day 1940', Scotsman, 1 January 2014.
  6. It would be another 61 years until a Queen's Park game was again screened on live television: 'Queen's Park to feature on live TV for first time in 61 years in Hampden clash against Rangers', Daily Record, 26 October 2012.
  7. Radio Times listings credit Jimmy Jewell as co-commentator, but his untimely death from a heart attack the day before the game saw him replaced by Kenneth Wolstenholme.