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Fresh from the studio soccer game Quiz Ball, David Vine first introduced A Question Of Sport at 6:20 pm on Monday 5 January 1970 with captains Henry Cooper (the boxer) and Cliff Morgan (from the world of Rugby Union). Guest panellists on the first edition were George Best, Ray Illingworth, Lillian Board and Tom Finney.
David Coleman later took over the host’s chair, and subsequent captains have included Welsh Rugby maestro Gareth Edwards, cackling jockey Willie Carson, squeaky-voiced soccer star Emlyn Hughes, cricketer Ian Botham, the deceptively witty former England Rugby skipper, Bill Beaumont, Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson.
Hughes’s main claim to fame was when, in 1987, he identified a photograph of HRH Princess Anne as being jockey John Reid. HRH got her own back by appearing on the programme the following week.
The attention to team members’ clothes turned it for a while into ‘A Question of Jumpers’ – with Coleman in particular showing off more pastel shades than Rowntree’s – but the show remains a firm favourite with anyone that knows their Arsenal from their Aintree . . .
Tennis legend Sue Barker took over as host in 1997, but apart from the faces, nothing much has changed on A Question Of Sport for over 30 years.