Wales has taken way beyond its fair share of social media bashing in recent times.

So perhaps it is time we made more fuss of our national treasures, such as a Welsh language sports programme celebrating its 30th birthday this month.

Sgorio, which first broadcast on September 5, 1988, has appeared in various formats on S4C over the years, covering a wide range of sporting events from Wales and much further afield.


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Since 2008, Sgorio has also presented a live Welsh Premier League match every weekend, with the Monday evening show featuring highlights from both the WPL and Spain’s La Liga.

While our national football league often comes under fire for its predictability – certainly where the annual destination of the title is concerned – the way the competition is covered by Sgorio attracts far more bouquets than brickbats.

And understandably so, taking into account the professionalism of the presenters, pundits, summarisers and commentators

S4C's Sgorio presenter Nicky John
S4C’s Sgorio presenter Nicky John

The infectiously cheerful approach of main anchors Nicky John and ever-smiling Dylan Ebenezer complement the honest, well-balanced punditry of the likes of former Wales internationals Owain Tudur Jones and John Hartson.

Behind the microphone there is the ubiquitous eloquence of Nic Parry, a man I interviewed back in 1988 at just about the time Sgorio was beginning about his exciting double life as a commentator and legal eagle. Nic remains a dependable rock of the team.

Mike Davies, Bryn Tomos and the aforementioned Mr Ebenezer himself also provide quality commentary, with Morgan Jones, Alun Williams, Emyr Davies, Llyr Huws Gruffydd and Gary Pritchard also vital polished performers in the ranks.

Niclas Parry
Niclas Parry

And let’s not forget the English language service hosted by dynamic duo Mark Jones and Tomi Morgan.

Mark is a modern-day Stan Stennett, quip-a-minute, while Tomi shares the mannerism of just-retired England cricketer Alistair Cook and the late Anne Kirkbride (Deidre off Coronation Street) in that he never blinks. If he gives up broadcasting, he could become a hypnotist.

Then there is the inimitable lively style of Malcolm Allen, ex-Watford, Newcastle United and Wales striker, who has brought a whole new pizzazz to the commentary box.

I think most of us have our favourite Malcolm moment, mine being his most raucous of roars in the media box when Connah’s Quay Nomads went close to scoring against Serbia’s Vojvodina in the 2016/17 Europa League tie at Belle Vue, Rhyl.

The Serbian commentator sitting next to Deiniolen’s finest Mr Allen almost jumped out of his skin at the decibel-deafening release from our man, the visitor’s facial reaction an absolute picture.

If all this reads like I am trying to land a job with Sgorio that is certainly not the case. I just feel our team of S4C experts are a talented team of people we are lucky to have in Wales.

Tomi Morgan
Tomi Morgan

Having been impressed by the recent Sgorio live broadcast from Cefn Druids v Llandudno, I was soon tuned into BBC’s Match of Day. And what a contrast.

Ex-footballers who may have been good at the game in their day, but their studio discussions about it came across as bitter and depressing.

They took every opportunity to take a swipe at a top Premier League club and seemed intent on lambasting anything in sight they considered was not quite as special as what they produced back in the ‘good old days’.

Give me a Sgorio show ahead of Match of the Day any time. One team perform like they are really enjoying their job and the others act as if they are doing us a favour.

I’ll leave you to judge which is which.

Long life to Sgorio and all who sail in her now and in the future.

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