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12th May 2020

The beauty of football on Ceefax

Wayne Farry


Football news is 24/7 nowadays

You can barely walk down the street –  as we used to do before lockdown – without getting a notification from Twitter or a news app about some football story which was breaking. Even for serious fans of the sport, the constant bombardment can get a bit much.

But before the age of smartphones and 24-hour Sky Sports News there was something else; a slower and more relaxed way of keeping up with football news. The term ‘page 302’ will mean little to those born after a certain time, but for an era of fans it was their one-stop shop for news.

Ceefax was the BBC’s text-based news service. It provided constant updates and written pieces, television listings and the weather. Page 302 was its football page, with stories often breaking there before they got anywhere else.

You could keep track of live matches too, waiting for your team’s live score to refresh every time it rotated back onto the screen. It wasn’t as glamorous as Sky Sports News or as instantly gratifying as on-the-whistle social media notifications, but it will live long in the memory.