Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Remembering Hugh Johns

One-nothing, Leicester Siddy!
It's fair to say the likes of John Motson, Brian Moore and Kenneth Wolstenholme did enough in their careers to be remembered for decades to come.

But what about other equally high-profile, much-loved pros who've slipped from our collective psyche? As the years roll by and football reinvents itself with scant regard for how it got to this point of popularity in the first place, what about Hugh Johns?

Soccermongery remembers Hugh. He was just about the first football commentator I remember, growing up as I did in the ATV region.

No Big Match for us in the Midlands, oh no! it was Star Soccer presented by a twentysomething, Gary Newbon.

aaaiir, Noddinghan Fores'
The main commentary game on ATV, and it was a big one in those days with Forest, Albion and Villa dominating in England and Europe, was by Hugh Johns.

I swear I remember him declare "oy-ye-yoy!" when Andy Gray and John Richards failed to produce the finish to an intricate Wolves move, blazing over the bar when scoring seemed easier!

Marcus Stead, an avid TV and radio sports fan who grew up in South Wales writes:

"Hugh moved to HTV Wales in the early 1980s and he was working on local football on HTV Wales until the mid-late 1990s. He lived fairly near to me and I used to see him at Sophia Gardens cricket ground quite often.

Even during his ATV/ Central days, he still lived on the outskirts of Cardiff and commuted to the Midlands.

He had a few catchphrases, such as "One-nothing" and "Yes, Sir!".

My favourite quote, from his HTV Wales days, was "The ref looked at his whistle and blew his watch".

Listen!I know that in his later years he wasn't a fan of the modern game and would watch it on TV only occasionally.

About a year before he died, he made the front page of the local paper having a go at Gabby Logan. He called her a 'super lady' but said he just couldn't get used to a woman presenting football on TV.

Hugh was an interesting character- a heavy, life-long smoker who insisted on drinking several pints of Brains Bitter every day to keep his voice working properly.

He was also a very active Freemason in the South Wales area.

He'll be remembered as a football commentator, but also worked on boxing, bowls, snooker and darts.

Even when I was growing up in the 1990s his style sounded somewhat dated, but he was a true professional and I'm sure he'd have enjoyed listening to that."

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