IT'S time for closure.

To blow the final whistle.

One of my favourite telly theme songs was from the 1970s series Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?

It contains the wonderfully evocative lyric: "Is the only thing to look forward to the past?"

It reminds me of our nation's response to the 1966 England World Cup win: our finest footy hour.

I was eight-years-old at the time and recall it being the last television game broadcast I saw in black and white.

Yet we all know the iconic image of the England team it is in glorious triumphant technicolour: Red shirts. Three Lions. Pride.

It was all down-hill after that.

Since then we have seen attempts from each new manager through English rose-tinted glasses.

We cling on to that one victory in the sixties with almost religious fervour.

It is a problem that new manager Sam Allardyce will have to deal with it.

This week we are unashamedly at it again.

Dragging out the bunting and digging out the archive tapes.

But nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

There seems to be no light at the end of the football tunnel.

The forthcoming multi-media events on July 30 anniversary celebrations include charity fund-raisers, exhibitions and screenings.

I have interviewed members of the heroic squad such as Nobby Styles and the late Alan Ball but it was the captain Bobby Moore who left his mark on me.

In the late '80s I bumped into him as we met on a staircase in London where he was writing a column for the paper I was working for at the time.

I seized the moment to ask him what did he remember the most about that day and he said with a wide smile "climbing the staircase at Wembley to pick up the trophy from her Majesty."

Every staircase he climbed until he died too soon at the age of 51, reminded him of it.

He couldn't escape it - but we must.

"They think it's all over," said the legendary commentator on the day Kenneth Wolstenholme.

Well, it is now.

Please, after we rightly toast the 50th year, can we now move on. Leave the memories to a permanent museum.

And, at last, put an England cap on it.


IT'S not just our soccer heritage that is stuck in the mud.

Television commissioning editors are raiding the archives again.

Now in what it calls a celebration of classic sit coms, the BBC are re-heating classics such as Porridge.

Can we have a licence fee refund or royalties as we helped pay for these programmes first time around?

Birkenhead's Patricia Routledge who played horrible but hilarious Hycianth Bouquet is not a fan.

Now, in her best Queen Victoria voice, Patricia has declared that she is ‘not amused’ at a Keeping Up Appearances prequel.

I agree with the much-respected Patricia who says the Beeb must be 'desperate'. 

Regurgitated lazy re-makes are a switch-off.


AS we await the next batch of 'people' shows such as Britain's Got Talent we should take comfort in the fact that being confronted with bizarre acts on stage are nothing new.

Olivier Award-winning Wirral wordsmith Michael Wynne's new play celebrates 150 years of the Liverpool Playhouse - a musical called The Star which will mark the theatre's music hall history.

While researching his production Michael, who wrote The Knocky about Birkenhead's Nocturum estate, has found a 'greatest hits' type book of music hall songs.

A sort of a 19th century edition of Now That's What I Call Music.

He also discovered that one act made the audiences lost for words.

A man would bring a live cow on stage and the audience would guess the bovine’s weight.

So that's where Simon Cowell got his inspiration.

Pull the udder one, you may say, but it is true.


And finally ...

As a child I was amazed at the stunning spectacle of the Red Arrows.

I still am.

Now I support an innovative high-flying, fund-raising idea for the RAF Museum: "Get Your Name on a Red Arrows Plane."

This is one occasion where I would be happy to see my money go up in smoke.

Peter Grant