To British TV viewers, though, the anniversary has another significance, for it is also the birthday of 'the panel' of pundits.
Like so many innovations in football in the second half of the twentieth century, the introduction of pundits was the brainchild of Jimmy Hill. Hill was the man that ITV turned to to give their football presentation that extra something that would give them the edge over the BBC.
I wanted men conceited enough to think that their opinion was the right one. I needed them to be articulate, knowledgeable and opinionated, but also to have personality. That's not the easiest combination to find- Hill interviewed by Brian Viner.
Wolverhampton Wanderers centre forward and Northern Ireland international, The Doog was the eloquent, balanced member of the panel.
A special mention must be made of Paul Gascoigne's stint at ITV during the 2002 World Cup. The person who came up with the idea of using Gascoigne might have believed that being included on the panel would reveal some special and previously hidden qualities in a man (much loved) tormented by alcoholism and an affective disorder- or maybe they just thought Paul's good for a laugh. Gascoigne's main failing as a pundit was his inability to speak on camera, and it made cringeworthy viewing. At least Paul was in the studio - in 1986 the BBC hired George Best in a similar capacity- he never turned up.