‘Ey up, it’s the return of Indoor League - we’ll sithee!

Fred Trueman hosting The Indoor League
Fred Trueman hosting The Indoor League
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WITH sideburns so deep and thick that if seen in profile he looked as if he was on the phone, the cricketer Fred Trueman was an unlikely cultural touchstone.

But to a generation of viewers who watched him host a homespun indoor sports show on Yorkshire TV, he was as much a part of the 1970s as flared trousers.

The series, Indoor League, taped at venues around Leeds, saw him propping up a selection of snooker and bar billiards tables, pipe in one hand and pint in the other, intoning Yorkshire-isms such as “Nah then” and “I’ll sithee”.

The show went off the air in 1977 after five years, and has been seen only occasionally since. But on Monday, a new free-to-air sports channel called Front Runner will begin re-screening it on Freeview.

Trueman’s fashionably long hair and big collars give the programmes a uniquely Seventies flavour, as does the orange and beige decor.

Viewers, first in Yorkshire and then nationwide, were treated to displays of traditional games like table skittles, shove ha’penny and darts played on a “Yorkshire” board with no trebles ring.

John Fairley, who was executive producer on the show, said: “I remember how amazed we all were at the skills our players produced.

“The best people ranged from a school headmaster to the Ukrainian landlady of a Yorkshire pub.”