A fond farewell to Manish Bhasin, Steve Claridge and Co.
GO ON, admit it, you missed them, didn’t you? As Channel 5 launched their new Football League highlights programme last weekend, it really brought it home – Manish Bhasin, Steve Claridge, Leroy Rosenior and Mark Clemmit have gone.
After six years the curtain has come down on the BBC’s late night
Football League Show. We’re going to miss those riveting chats in the studio and Clem going out to a Football League game to do a story about himself, er, sorry, I mean a new manager.
As our own small tribute, here’s a little snippet of the kind of chat we’re never going to have the chance to enjoy again:
Manish ( worried/pained look): (Team name) have lost 16 of their last 17 games, the manager is under huge pressure, they’re ten points adrift at the bottom of the table and £10m in debt. Cause for concern? Steve: Well, yes and no…
Manish: What do you think, Leroy?
Leroy: Look, if there’s one manager who can get this club out of trouble it’s (manager’s name). He’s got a great future ahead of him. More importantly, has anyone seen Clem?
Clem (talking loudly/In manager’s face): I’m here at (club) to meet new manager (name). How are you feeling?
New manager: I’m really looking forward to the game. I hope we’ll get off to a great start. Clem (shouting as teams come out): Here they come, the players and the new manager...
After the game, a 7-1 defeat for the new boss:
Manager (running): Quick, let’s get out of here before Clem spots us...
Clem (screaming): Come back! Clearly, Channel 5’s Football League
Tonight with Kelly Cates, George Riley and The FLP columnist Adam Virgo has big boots to fill.
They shook things up with their running order last week and also brought in a studio audience, a risky move after the panning the BBC took for Clare Balding’s Wimbledon 2Day coverage earlier this summer.
It’s a fresh start, a new era and, crucially, at 9pm a family-friendly time.
But we’ll always have a place in our heart for Manish, Steve, Leroy and Clem… well played, lads.
OLDS DAYS: Manish Bhasin, right, Steve Claridge, top left, Leroy Rosenior, middle, and Mark Clemmit, bottom, were the stars of TheFootballLeagueShow