Following football on Teletext is a simple joy which youngsters will never understand


While today’s youngsters can access live scores from any football match on the planet within seconds via the tap of an app, they will never be able to appreciate the simple pleasure of keeping up to date with the beautiful game courtesy of Teletext.

Teletext (or Ceefax as it was called on BBC One and Two), was accessed by pressing the ’Text’ button on your remote control while on terrestrial TV.

It featured news and weather updates, quizzes, mini-games and you could even browse holiday deals on there. But if you’re like us then you only ever really used it for football. It was an absolutely invaluable and essential tool for fans.

Whack in 302 on Ceefax and all the latest football headlines would flash up before your eyes.

Bang: ‘ARSENAL SEAL £7.5M BERGKAMP SWOOP - 303’, ‘Pearce: Dutchman may face struggle - 305’, ‘Rioch: Record fee is a statement - 306’ and so on.

These were your football headlines. Deal with it. If you want more, you can read the ‘News in brief - 312’ or head to ’Football gossip - 338’ if you want some newspaper nonsense.


It was the same story on ITV, except they also offered a clickbait-style service called ‘ClubCall’ which featured headlines such as ‘BLUES TO SWOOP FOR COPA AMERICA STAR?!?’.


If you wanted to find out more you’d need to ring a premium rate phone number which could cost you up to £4 a minute. So nobody we knew ever used it. Can you imagine the phone bill?

Teletext and Ceefax really came into its own on match days, though, with the live scores.

You’d put in the appropriate number on a Saturday afternoon and you’d be greeted by two or three pages for each division.

Here’s a screenshot of a Premier League match day. It was a clear, simple but effective interface, featuring all the scores and then the goalscorer followed by the minute they scored.


It would stay on the page for roughly 30 seconds before flipping to the next page.

Every time your team was on another page, you were desperate for the update. Those 30 seconds before the page flicked back to your team’s sometimes felt like an eternity.

There was also a brilliant ‘In-Vision’ option which meant you could watch EastEnders or whatever while the scores from that night’s Premier League, Football League, FA Cup or Champions League matches flashed up at the bottom of the screen.


You then had the option to view the updated tables after all the games had finished.


What more could you possibly need?

While the internet is obviously much better in just about every conceivable way, we wouldn’t change growing up with Teletext in the 1990s and early 2000s for anything.

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