Tony Gubba is a tremendous long-time servant to the noble art of commentary, although to simply pigeonhole the MOTD man as a football commentator is to deny his selflessness in the face of the needs of the BBC Sports Department over the years. For Gubba has wielded the mic for cycling, skiing, hockey, ice dancing, table tennis, squash, and bobsleigh in his time. Some even recall an impressively knowledgeable stint in a wheelchair-tennis gantry.
In the same way as play-anywhere footballers sometimes never establish themselves in any one position, perhaps it is Gubba’s very versatility that has prevented him carving a more substantial reputation as a guff merchant. He hasn’t really developed a signature guff style yet he’s certainly got a gaffe or too in his locker.
What Tony gives with one hand…
“The ageless Teddy Sheringham, at 37 now.”
Quite a man for statistics apparently.
“If Aston Villa do get a point from this it will improve their points total, of course.”
Well, maybe not.
“Arsenal are quick to credit Bergkamp with laying on 75% of their nine goals”
“Wigan Athletic are certain to be promoted barring a mathematical tragedy.”
Perhaps that’s something you could provide Tony.
We trust Mrs Gubba looks after domestic issues:
“The ball must be as slippery as a wet baby.”
It’s not widely known that Tony keeps a two-man unicycle for parties and family gatherings:
“These two clubs had a monopoly of the domestic honours last season.”
Tony’s philosophical musings give the lie to Graham Taylor’s theory that time and space are the same thing.
“He was in the right place at the right time, but he might have been elsewhere on a different afternoon.”
“So often the pendulum continues to swing with the side that has just pulled themselves out of the hole.”
They ought to take care it doesn’t strike them on the head as they clamber out.
Dark hints at betting scandal among Premiership scoreboard operators?
“The scoreline didn’t really reflect the outcome.”
However, if Gubba is to be remembered for any single act of guff, surely it will be his late-Seventies take on the first million-pound players – in particular, Trevor Francis’ promotion to that exclusive club.
“Others suspect that, like the Mad Hatter at Alice’s tea party with ten shillings and sixpence stuck in his hat, Trevor Francis has been condemned to complete his career under the questioning shadow of that emotive seven-figure sum”.
Less table tennis and more football, and he could have been a contender.