In 1951 the Walton Hospital League of Friends was asked if it could provide broadcast commentaries

on Everton and Liverpool football matches to the tubercular patients at Walton Hospital, as there was

no local radio coverage (Radio Merseyside started broadcasting in 1967 and Radio City in 1974). One of

the early champions of the Network was Jack Worthington MBE who guided it through its early stages

onto a firm footing.




Walton Hospital







The Merseyside Hospitals’ Radio Network was formed and commenced broadcasting on

18th October 1952 with live coverage from Anfield to Walton Hospital with the late

Alan Clarke of the BBC at the mic. The following Saturday, coverage from Goodison Park began.

On 5th December 1953, the network was enlarged to cover 21 hospitals on Merseyside via landline.   




Dixie Dean in action 



On 23rd August 1956, the Network began broadcasting Music Request Programmes from a studio

at the GPO’ Lancaster House Telephone Exchange. By 30th June 1958, two programmes per

week were being relayed to 37 hospitals in Liverpool, Wrexham, Chester, Ormskirk, Heswall,

Rainhill, Wallasey, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port and Bebington.




The Saint heads for goal




Although the Network covered the whole of Merseyside and parts of North Wales, Walton

Hospital League of Friends remained the organizing committee with Ken Martin and

Cyril Richardson being appointed to control and produce the sports and request

programmes respectively.  Apart from Walton, the Merseyside Hospitals Council financed

the £1,300 per annum needed to pay for the GPO landlines to the 37 hospitals.





 Last night of the Stadium before it’s closure in 1985





The Network also covered local boxing tournaments from the Liverpool Stadium.

On 26th August 1954, the first Boxing commentary was made by the Rev. David Bevan

who was a big boxing fan. He soon became known as the “Pugilistic Vicar”!

When he step down some years later, Ken Martin, Joe Palmer and Ken Head continued

the commentaries.






John Conteh




One of the finest nights covered was on Saturday 5th March 1977, when Liverpool’s John Conteh

retained his Light Heavyweight World Title by beating Len Hutchins after 1 min 5 sec of the

third round.  Commentaries continued up to 1985, then shortly after, the Stadium was closed

down and demolished.





The England Team at Anfield





Over past 60 plus years, every home game from Liverpool and Everton has been broadcast

live, including many Cup Finals from Wembley as well. International games have been

covered also. The most recent being the England v Uruguay friendly in March 2006 at Anfield.


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