Andy Gray was the voice of Sky Sports' Premier League coverage from it's inception in the early 90s right up until he was chased out of the company along with Richard Keys for their shameful comments about female referee's assistant Sian Massey.
The pair are still going strong over in Qatar, where it's grand to spout the off the cuff sexist garbage that put the final nail in the coffin of the word "banter", but we simply don't see them any more.
For the most part, that's not really an issue. They aren't missed, as in general the analysis and presentation of Sky's coverage as probably improved since they left, but in terms of commentary, there's one thing we have to admit that we do miss.
Andy Gray's imaginary conversations between players.
If you are confused, we're talking about the moments after a goal is scored when Andy Gray used to, rather than analyse the movements that resulted in a goal, would create a fictional dialouge between those involved, and it went a little something like this:
Happy birthday to Andy Gray and his lengthy mid-game imaginary conversations. pic.twitter.com/Dmmgo3jmW7
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) November 30, 2016
This tweet by the aptly named 'Football Cliches' account reminded me of my absolute favourite Facebook page from back when people used to "like" pages because of their funny names, which would then show up in your friends' timelines.
It was a glorious page, full of imaginary conversations Gray himself made up, and also re-imaginings that the page's owner did himself.
This is something I've been joking about for years, any time Andy Gray's name came up, so I have made it my business to track down and find actual, genuine examples to show to people who haven't a clue what I'm on about.
Even those that do, we'll talk about them, but we could never find actual physical evidence. So I wanted to correct that.
Thankfully, that research has proved to be piss-easy as roughly 50% of what is broadcast on Sky Sports these days is Premier League Years, 'Football Classics' which are games from as recent as two seasons ago, and the incredibly helpful 'Premier League 100' which shows every Premier League goal scored by those who have bagged more than 100. All of them are packed with Andy Gray commentary.
Over the past few months I've left these shows on in the background while doing other things, and sure enough, I've clipped out three gems of Gray's imaginary conversations, and am delighted to present them to you now.
Example 1: Yossi Benayoun to Teddy Sheringham:
Do you want a little cross? Do you want it just about head-height Teddy? Have a little look at the goal, and here you go..
Example 2: Dirk Kuyt to Fernando Torres:
Go on son, when you're hot, you're hot.
Example 3: Samir Nasri to Cesc Fabregas:
Thank you very much.
Once I first noticed it, it never failed to make me laugh.
Andy Gray wasn't the best co-commentator or analyst to ever work a live football match, but he had some comical traits that are fondly remembered by many.
I may not miss him, but I certainly miss his imaginary conversations between footballers.
If you can think of any, or come across any in the near future, be sure to get in touch and let us know. We never get sick of them.