Ceefax at 40: Your Capital One Cup Ceefax match reports

Middlesbrough players after their defeat at Liverpool
Middlesbrough players show their disappointment after defeat at Liverpool

We asked for your League Cup match reports to help us celebrate 40 years since the introduction of Ceefax - and almost 500 of you had sent them through to us by Wednesday morning.

The reports were of a very high standard - suggesting that many of you have an excellent grasp of the tricky business of telling the story of a football match in 80 words.

In fact, it made us think that if Ceefax did ever make a comeback (unlikely, but you never know) there will be no problem finding people who can write in four precise paragraphs.

Of course, it made the task of picking out some of the better entries to showcase here incredibly difficult - and our apologies to all of you who submitted reports that have not been used.

Here are some of the best ones, with a few editor's notes underneath each - and please note that some of the reports have been tweaked slightly from the original submissions to ensure they fit the Ceefax template.

Liverpool's shootout win over Middlesbrough

Liverpool v Middlesbrough report
Graphic supplied by Nik Horne

Sent in by James Hernandez in Norwich.

There were more reports submitted about Liverpool's match with Middlesbrough than any other fixture.

In some ways it is a nightmare report to write in Ceefax style because there is so much information to fit into a relatively small number of words. In the glory days of Ceefax it would be the type of report that most writers would have tried to avoid!

What was so good about James's report was the level of detail he managed to cram in - the little touches such as Rossiter's age and that Reach levelled with a header.

Of course, it always pays to double check your spellings - no need for that extra S in 'Rossister'!

Read the website report of this match.

Liverpool v Middlesbrough report
Graphic supplied by Nik Horne

Sent in by Lee in Norwich.

This was another good attempt at writing a report on Liverpool's dramatic win - and started strongly with some good historical context in the top paragraph.

All the lines were fully filled out - making excellent use of all the available space - and there was an attempt to add some detail around each goal.

It could probably do with a capital letter on the c of cup in the opening paragraph.

Read the website report of this match.

In-form Southampton win at Arsenal

Arsenal v Southampton report
Graphic supplied by Nik Horne

Sent in by Jonny Davison in Winchester.

From a Ceefax point of view, Southampton's victory over Arsenal was a lot more manageable than Liverpool's penalty shootout victory.

In fact, some Ceefax veterans might argue that a 2-1 scoreline is ideal for Ceefax.

You can write a top paragraph that sums it all up and then spend one paragraph describing each goal, which is pretty much what Jonny has done.

There were also some nice additional touches, such as pointing out that it was a weakened Arsenal team and that Sadio Mane was making his debut.

Read the website report of this match.

More misery for Cardiff

Cardiff v Bournemouth match report
Graphic supplied by Nik Horne

Sent in by Marc Forster-Pert in Bournemouth.

Another excellent top paragraph - the reader finds out who won, who lost and who the key man was, and is also given some historical context.

As an added bonus we are also told that the defeated team are without a manager.

Marc returned to the subject of Cardiff's managerless status at the end of his report - pointing out that it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who lost his job. However, as with so many thousands of reports over the years, it had started to over-run and had to be trimmed.

Space is always at a premium in a Ceefax report but if you are going to allude to something like Dan Gosling's cup scoring record it is always good to provide some details that substantiate your point.

Read the website report of this match.

MK Dons see off Bradford

MK Dons v Bradford match report
Graphic supplied by Nik Horne

Sent in by Mark Tuxford in Colchester.

This was another good report with a decent introductory paragraph.

From a structural point of view the third paragraph in this report is probably not necessary. It is using valuable words to speculate about what the Bradford manager was thinking when the space might have been better used to provide more description of goals and good chances in the game.

Read the website report of this match.

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