WM Coverage

So if I understand it correctly, there wont be any commentaries on FM or MW.
They will be on dab but there are only two dab stations, some coverage will be available on Freeview and some talk about listening on your smart phone (if you’ve got one)
I can’t see Walsall coverage being very good , or have I misunderstood it ?

They still do ground reports from 3pm on a Saturday but yes just talking heads in the studio for most part on FM so not listener friendly anymore.


On tues an Albion fan was on WM tuesday complaining about it

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They said something about not having fm rights but what difference does it make if its on DAB or FM?

We started getting more coverage when they spread the games across fm and DAB

I’m old enough to remember when there were no live commentaries and it was all studio based with regular check ins at the grounds and the goal horn. There were phone in competitions and forecast five (predict the results of the five Midlands teams playing - which led to the so bad it was good forecast five rap).

It was simple times (everyone played at 3pm on a Saturday for a start!) But we used to get good coverage that was lost when full match commentaries started.


BBC local radio has been battered by funding cuts over the past few years, while at the same time, sport has become more expensive to contract.
Many argue that it’s not good use of the licence fee and limited resource. I can’t comment on WM as the last time I listened to it, people like Tony Butler, Les Ross and Ed Doolan were presenting.
If you want to listen to the commentary, buy a pass on ifollow.

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I preferred that. I don’t get the attraction of radio commentaries, even with Walsall I couldn’t listen to a 90 minute commentary, and certainly not for one of the other teams in the area.
Of course, back then hearing people talking football was a bit of a novelty, whereas now turn TalkSpurt on at any time, or R5L much of the time and someone is talking drivel about the game, or talking sense if Pat Nevin is available.

Anyway, my WM listening days are long gone, and like @Belphegor it was Butler and Doolan, plus Gordon Astley* and Chris Asher when I used to tune in.

Roger Moody was the first sports presenter I remember with them, Radio Birmingham it was back then. Butler was on BRMB when I first heard him, in about 1973.

*Gordon, Gordon, he’ll take away your boredom
If you wake up feeling ghastlyyyyyyyy,
Tune to Gordon Astleyyyyyy


Your memory is better than mine Jumbo. Looks like I’m mixing my WM and BRMB presenters :smile:
Les Ross was BRMB of course

No, I think they moved around. Butler and Doolan were on BRMB when it started but moved to WM (or it might have still been Radio Birmingham then) at some point, and Les Ross started with Radio B’rum and moved to BRMB.
Astley and Asher moved about, I think they were on Beacon for a time.
Your memory is fine, but the blighters just wouldn’t stay in one place and kept moving to confuse us.

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We had some fantastic local broadcasters in those days. Tony Butler was a pioneer of sports radio- his phone-ins were especially ground breaking and copied by many. I was at Uni in Nottm, and there was a guy on Radio Trent called Chris Ashley who virtually copied Tone’s show.
Beacon Radio was not as good as BRMB but had Pat Foley and Pete Wagstaff who brought a more humorous side to local sport.
I’d take any of those guys over Franksy any day.


The name Chris Ashley does ring a bell. Australian, I think. I remember listening to him,but can’t think where I was when I did.

I think one of them got in trouble back in the 80s for having a go at Fergie and Di on Beacon. They wanted to know why the newspapers were obsessed with them and pointed out that you could see lots of better looking women walking around Wolvo town centre any day. Which was true, of course, but nevertheless trouble ensued.

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I’m getting mixed up now, maybe it wasn’t Chris Asher, it was Chris Ashley. They might be two different blokes, or maybe just one and I’m conflating the names.
The one I remember used to do something called “The House Of Asher” but maybe his actual name was Ashley.

Pat and Pete also did a Sunday morning show.
Whenever Steve Bull had scored on the Sat before they used to ring him up and get him on the air. He lived with his Mom in Tipton at the time and she would answer the phone and you’d hear her shout “ Steve, bay-con radios on the fo-un!” He’d come downstairs, half asleep and talk to them.
Proper local radio!

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The quizzes were terrible. I still remember one from about 40 years ago. “And for the prize, can you tell me which singer has a backing group called The Wailers?” Silence for a couple of seconds then “is it Steve Harley?” :laughing:

One morning a young lad phoned Butler on WM with the answer to the quiz which was hopelessly wrong, Butler was confused because it was a ridiculous answer and a bit annoyed because he thought the lad was taking the pee. Turned out the boy had been listening to Beacon, knew the answer to their question, but phoned the wrong radio station with the answer and he was put on air. You don’t get that on The Today Programme. :smile:

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Yep- I think it’s the same guy- Chris Ashley- he was a bit too brash for me and because he wasn’t a local he always seemed less genuine.
Gordon Astley, who was on Beacon radio but not on sport, had the impossible task of replacing Chris Tarrant on TISWAS.

I don’t remember Gordon Astley on Tiswas, but I remember him on Beacon and then on WM.

Nick Owen and Jim Rosenthal got their starts on Radio B’rum/WM long ago, doing the sport, and Owen did some general reporting as well, such as when the pub bombings happened.

Nearly every local BBC radio station doing live coverage of FL or cup games on Tuesday on the BBC Sounds app, no matter where in the country you were listening to. But we get some crummy music show, despite normal radio having coverage in the local area of all 3 games with our teams. Pathetic.

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I have a DAB radio but cannot pick up any commentaries . Am I bothered ? Not really although I may be if we ever get a winning team . At the moment the regular reports are enough for me especially if the goal horn signals a goal against one of our neighbours .

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Bit confused here as I was listening to WM’s live commentary on the Wigan v WBA match on Tues while driving home from our trophy game.

When I’ve tried to listen in the past to WM through BBC Sounds when there has been a local team’s live commentary I’ve had some message about it being unavailable due to licensing restrictions although how that would apply to WM but not other BBC local stations I’ve no idea!:man_shrugging: