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East Fife 4, Forfar 5 funny scoreline finally finds fame

The perfect soccer scoreline comes to pass in Scotland after penalties

James Alexander Gordon: football geeks are at last able to savour the mythical scoreline with which he will always be associated

“East Fife 4, Forfar 5”, regarded by some as the perfect soccer scoreline due to its rhyming nature and rhythmic intonation when spoken out loud, came to pass on Sunday - in a fashion.

East Fife hosted Forfar Athletic in Scottish League Cup Group B and the teams could not be separated after 90 minutes as the match finished at 1-1.

The resulting penalty shootout produced the score that has been associated with both clubs since broadcaster James Alexander Gordon read the classified results on the BBC.



Many had wanted to hear Scotsman Gordon say “East Fife 4, Forfar 5” in his famous dulcet tones as the parody scoreline between the Scottish sides featured regularly in the routines of British comedian Eric Morecambe as a send up of the live scores on BBC.

But the only time the result occurred was in the 1964 Scottish second division campaign, 10 years before Gordon began reading the results.

Gordon died in 2014 but fans and football geeks were at last able to savour the mythical scoreline with which Gordon will always be associated.

Gordon, who was 78, possessed one of the best known and best loved of voices on British radio. For almost 40 years, he was the man whom generations of football fans heard reading the Saturday afternoon football results on Sports Report, first on BBC Radio 2 and more recently on 5 Live, and to an audience around the globe through the World Service.

His voice became synonymous with the programme as a variety of presenters, among them Peter Jones and Des Lynam, read out the day’s headlines before adding: “But first, a full check of today’s classified football results, read as always by James Alexander Gordon.”

Gordon, or “Jag” as he was affectionately known, developed a style all his own. “Manchester United, ” he would say with an eager upwards inflection suggesting the home side had won, before adding “five”. Then he lowered his voice to indicate bad news for the next team: “Liverpool, nil.”