Soccer AM is 24 years old. That’s five years older than recent England debutant Jadon Sancho and six years Callum Hudson-Odoi’s senior. Even Harry Kane was just a babe in arms.
At the height of its fame it was a phenomenon, and to this day is still one of the most popular football shows on TV, watched by fans up and down the country and welcoming some of the biggest footballers, musicians and entertainers on the planet, and not to mention major brands such as Jacamo queueing up to partner with the show.
And it can’t be denied it’s been an influential factor in how we consume football and how it is broadcast, particularly during its pomp in the mid-2000s.
The days of Tim Lovejoy and Helen Chamberlain were instrumental in how we enjoy the beautiful game today, and were at the very start of things like the viral video phenomenon in football, music and football realigning once again, it even lead nationwide campaigns to add bouncebackability into the Oxford English Dictionary, such was its power.
Their genuine relationship and love of the game was a draw in itself and the features they produced, minus the ‘soccerette’ have often been the starting points of how fans engage with football every day.
Social media now plays a large part in that, with clips of fans falling down terracing, managers forgetting players’ names and mascots fighting being retweeted and shared every day, but that all begin life in the UK as Third Eye on Soccer AM.
Of course, today that wouldn’t really work. Soccer AM thrived when social media and the technology wasn’t really there. Today, it would be old news within 24 hours of the incident taking place.
They championed the showboat, making legends out of Lee Trundle and Jay-Jay Okocha, so good they named him twice and even campaigned to get a star emblazoned on the England shirt, something which still exists to this day.
Over the years, that power has faded slightly. Lovejoy left the show in 2007 with Chamberlain following a decade later, having co-hosted with Andy Goldstein, Max Rushden and John “Fenners” Fendley, who is part of the current presenting team.
The loss of the latter was perhaps a backwards step in a show that for a long time was changing how we wish to consume football, particularly as shows around it such as Football Focus, Super Sunday and BT’s coverage are welcoming more women into the sport as permanent fixtures.
What can’t be denied though is that it’s still thrilling fans every Saturday morning, and its legacy will last long in the memory. It’s made us look for different things in the beautiful game and moved us away from the seriousness of sport that saw ex-pros sitting around a table and discussing the newspapers. It gave us the Geordie Dancer, Topless Weather and Barry Proudfoot.
And that, is a right touch.