Football punditry has become big business.
Both BBC and ITV have assembled team of experts in a bid to help boost viewing figures - 46 years after a Huddersfield man was at the heart of one of the first football panels.
Bob McNab was raised in Rawthorpe and started his career down the hill at Huddersfield Town before becoming an Arsenal double-winning star.
The left-back who joined the Gunners in a £55,000 deal in October 1966 came close to making the England squad for the 1970 World Cup.
But when Alf Ramsey’s provisional 28-strong party was whittled down to 22, McNab missed out along with Leicester City keeper Peter Shilton, Manchester United duo David Sadler and Brian Kidd, Burnley’s Ralph Coates and Liverpool’s Peter Thompson.
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That allowed John Bromley to make his move.
ITV’s head of sport had been tasked with updating coverage of the first big tournament to be screened in colour, and came up with the idea of having experts following the action in Mexico from London in the style of four blokes discussing football over a pint in their local.
McNab joined Manchester City coach Malcolm Allison, Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Paddy Crerand and Wolves and Northern Ireland striker Derek Dougan in a team ‘controlled’ by Brian Moore and Jimmy Hill, then with ITV.
The result was a month of loud, brash, often controversial, sometimes insulting and almost always hugely watchable television.
For the first time in the broadcasting of sports events, ITV’s figures regularly matched those of the BBC.
All four pundits knew their stuff but offered something different.
Allison was the star, irreverent and dashing but with the mind of a brilliant coach to add substance to his style.
Dougan played the role of his nemesis, sitting alongside, sometimes choking on the fumes from Allison’s cigar, and mixing charm and humour with a hard critical edge.
Crerand was abrasive and energetic while McNab offered the insight of a player who had been in the England squad until a few days earlier.
McNab, who made 76 Town appearances, later recalled: “People had never seen anything like it although I am not sure we all realised it was ground-breaking at the time.
“Jimmy Hill tried to control it, but Malcolm would take the mickey out of him unmercifully.
“Actually, we all ended up taking the mickey out each other.
“It was all great fun and we all had a lot of mutual respect.”