In Praise of the Marcador

Do you remember when scoreboards just told you the score? Or half-time scoreboards that required decoding skills and often resembled binary maths gone bad? If you do, then you are of a certain age. An age that pre-dates the first Sony Jumbotron, dodgy graphics prompting you to cheer and video screens that provide you with all the information you don’t need to know and more besides.

What’s the score? A pragmatic Basque approach at San Mamés

On reflection, the old manual scoreboard at a football stadium was an irrelevance to the majority of spectators. Unless you turned up to a match late, and were incapable of asking somebody “‘What’s the score?”, you would rarely, if ever use it as a point of reference. For the better part of a century, football clubs around the globe dedicated a small corner of their stadiums to stating the bleeding obvious. Of course, that wouldn’t stop you looking at the scoreboard. Maybe to gloat and reaffirm you had beaten a rival. Or maybe, during a quieter moment in the second half of a match, you would try and work out exactly who was leading who 0-2 in Match K. But now they are gone, we miss them. We miss the splash of colour they brought to the monochrome stadiums of yesteryear. We miss the accompanying adverts imploring us to drink more sherry or chose the right haemorrhoid cream, and we miss the ritual of watching a wooden zero being replaced by a wooden number one.

So, in praise of our long lost scoreboards (or marcadors as we tune in to our Spanish theme), here is a selection of some of the best that have graced Spain’s football grounds over the years.


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