Skip to content

The 2001 Ceefax Advert...

Does anybody remember seeing THE Ceefax advert (page 312, apparently) that Roy Essandoh responded to? I wonder if there a screenshot in existence anywhere, even! One of those remarkable club moments of folklore, though I don't recall ever actually casting eyes on the post...


  • Have always wondered about the real facts of this story. Did the Ceefax story actually happen? Did the agent actually see this Ceefax story, or like most agents, was he just pitching his free agent client around anyway?

    Also intrigued what the the full story was with Ian Wright and Vialli.

    Have seen it reported for Wright that it was injury that ruled him out, but alternatively not wanting to take a place away from a Wycombe player. The latter one wouldn't have made sense though, as we were literal bare bones!

  • I think, and I could be wrong, that the advert was online and Ceefax ran a story on it and that's where Essandoh's agent read it

    It would actually be magnificent if after all these years it turned out that Alan Hutchinson made the whole thing up

  • @eric_plant That's interesting - the club definitely had an advert on the website so this would make more sense than an actual Ceefax ad per se.

    But yes, it would be the greatest moment in the club's history if the whole thing was Hutch's figment.

  • Technically Ceefax would be BBC and ad free, Teletext was the ITV version.

  • One possible route to recovering the original ad (if it really did happen) is this:

    It tries to recover the teletext from old VHS recordings, there's a long standing project doing that here:

  • edited March 2023

    This really is the sort of story that would seem unrealistic if put in a novel. "Yeah, like that would actually happen in real life."

  • I used to read Ceefax on a daily basis back then, and I have a strange recollection of noticing it. But I would say my memory of that long ago is an unreliable source. IIRC it was part of a page of various football news snippets, a bit like the transfer rumours page on the BBC sport website nowadays. It just said something like Wycombe are looking for an experienced striker for their FA Cup QF. I remember players like Ian Wright and Gianluca Vialli (RIP) were mentioned at the time.

  • I have the same memory, but no idea if it's real or manufactured.

  • Likewise, I'm fairly sure there was a news piece on Ceefax. Not an advert as is sometimes reported, just more of a story saying Wycombe were on the look out for an out of contract, non cup tied striker, due to their injury crisis.

  • Thanks all! Some great recollections and sources here. Very enlightening.

  • edited March 2023

    There were pages towards the end of the football bit that did stories that weren't top 10 and maybe an earlier incarnation of the BBC websites gossip page with a little less speculation on stuff that is never going to happen, would have pages of stories like that on rotation so you'd have to annoy the family until it came around again if you missed it. Later telly's had the flash mix feature so it would overlay the programme ( your mother still wasn't having that for long) or buttons that let you chose between the subpages, bit of a vain attempt to stop the internet takeover. Think all later versions of the tech Including text services on the red button all died out when your smartphones took over.

  • edited March 2023

    I do recall seeing it on Ceefax at the time. The Advert was located in the "New in Brief" section on the Football pages. It had a range of true things, like injury news or staff movements and the odd transfer rumour from lower Prem clubs where the source was be named if it wasn't from the club contacting Ceefax directly. It's a little bit like the Gossip page on the BBC Sports website today.

    I do also recall that the club put out something very small on their website, whatever it looked like back in the 2000's as I wanted to check that the Ceefax ad was real!

  • I remember learning of Alan Beeton's meningitis on Ceefax. As a young nipper it terrified me.

  • Alan Beeton's defending terrified me !!

  • If it’s good enough for Liverpool …….

    (except it wasn’t)

  • Its been a long time but thought I would contribute seeing as this thread relates to my user name !!

    That QF inspired my then 6 year old son to blurt out "I wanna go and watch Wycombe" - the old memory is fading a bit now, but I seem to recall taking him to watch Swindon Town at home just after we exited the Cup in the SF - I think it ended 0-0 against Swindon? I also seem to recall Neil (Razor) Ruddock playing for them in a very a pair of shorts that looked about 3 sizes too small ! - We have both enjoyed the immense roller coaster ride that this brilliant club has provided since that first visit back in 2001, and it is a joy to watch my sons own kids now playing football in the garden with their Wycombe kits on.

  • This thread just wasn't right without the contribution of @Ceefax_Striker. I'll sleep better tonight now.

  • Sweet dreams sir !

    I am afraid my recollection of past events have often been referred to as a cure for insomnia

Sign In or Register to comment.