No excuses made in a week without football not to let this little piece of nostalgia bring a much-needed smile to your face.
Here is Mark Chamberlain in his Stoke City and England pomp back in 1983, guest-starring on the Sooty Show with Matthew Corbett.
It has been brought back to wider attention by Sky Sports commentator Gary Taphouse, who posted a clip on Twitter this afternoon.
He wrote: “My son refused to believe that there was an episode of Sooty where the little bear put Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dad to sleep with magic, so Matthew Corbett could score against him.”
Back then, Chamberlain Sr had joined Stoke from Division Four Port Vale and had immediately been a top flight sensation.
In the show, he’s walking through the park when Corbett calls out: “Mark… you remember me don’t you? We tried out for Stoke City on the same day!”
With a bit of a poke, Chamberlain says: “Oh yes, it’s Oddball Corbett isn’t it?”
Corbett turns to Sooty and Sweep to say: “You thought I was called Cannonball Corbett? Well… Oddball, Cannonball, it’s similar isn’t it?”
And, watching Chamberlain with the ball, he adds: “Just look at him, the man’s a genius.”
So, yes – as Chamberlain calls out, “Come on Oddball, this is getting boring!” – Sooty brings out his magic wand…
There were some at that time who were saying Chamberlain had magic in his boots too.
It took him just five minutes to prove the buzz he had created for Vale was no hysteria – and just four months to make it into the England squad.
He signed for Stoke on the eve of the 1982/83 campaign, four years after he had made his bow with Vale as a 16-year-old and fresh from being named in the PFA Division Four team of the season.
The state of Vale’s finances forced them to reluctantly accept a £150,000 joint offer for the winger and keeper Mark Harrison, with boss John McGrath suggesting he was probably worth more like £500,000 on his own.
Everyone quickly found out McGrath had a point.
Rarely has a player made such an immediate impact on the Boothen End than when Chamberlain was handed his debut on the opening day against Arsenal.
His pace immediately got England left-back Kenny Sansom into an under panic and that won a corner for George Berry to give Stoke an early lead.
The thrills continued and Stoke fans were in raptures in the 50th minute when he ran at Sansom in the box and sent a ball over for Brendan O’Callaghan to make it 2-0. “Brendan has waited four years for a cross like that,” said Barker.
The fun continued and in Chamberlain’s third game, away at Birmingham, he gave left-back Phil Hawker a roasting.
It was that match when Stoke were 4-0 up at half-time with some of the best play the club had ever produced – and he had scored one of the best goals.
He picked the ball up on the halfway line when a corner was cleared, beat Pat van den Hauwe and Geoff Scott and set off for goal. Hawker came across and was skinned and everyone else was left for dead
He scored with a header too, forced Hawker into an own goal and smashed a volley against the bar for Peter Griffiths to knock in from close range.
“Richie Barker was at a loss for words at half-time,” he said. “I don’t think he’d ever seen anything like the football we were playing.
“My first goal was a special, special goal and I still remember it vividly. It actually hurts that there were no TV cameras.”
Mark’s brother Neville followed in his footsteps from Vale the following month but it was the impact of another new boy, Mickey Thomas, together with a central midfield of Paul Bracewell and Sammy McIlroy that really got things motoring.
By mid-October, Stoke were seventh and Chamberlain was in the England squad. Two months later he was handed his international debut and netting from the bench in a 9-0 rout of Luxembourg.
By April, Stoke were fifth and looking up but Chamberlain’s breakthrough season at the top was interrupted by injury and his side tumbled out of contention for a UEFA cup spot.
That disappointment paled in significance next to Barker’s decision to go on a close-season coaching course run by FA experts at Lilleshall and come back fully converted to the long ball game.
Chamberlain said: “We had really good players like McIlroy, O‘Callaghan and Dave Watson. Barker tried to coach us into the long-ball game after going on courses with the likes of Howard Wilkinson, but it just didn’t suit us.
“We had a good nucleus of old pros and youngsters like myself, Paul Bracewell and Steve Bould. The older players left when they saw what was happening.”
Two disastrous seasons followed although they stayed up first time around thanks to a major upturn in form after Barker was replaced by Bill Asprey.
Chamberlain made another seven appearances for England, including in a 2-0 win over Brazil in the Maracana Stadium in 1984, where he and John Barnes were dubbed “more Brazilian than Brazilians”.
But even he could not prevent Stoke’s painful relegation in 1985 … and turning down Chelsea to join a Sheffield Wednesday side managed by Wilkinson for £300,000 did not go well.
“It was an eye-opener,” he said. “All I did was chase the ball. At training we constantly worked on corners and throw-ins and then went on a 14-mile run.”
It picked up when he moved to Portsmouth in 1988, where he was unlucky to lose an FA Cup semi-final to Liverpool in 1992, but Sansom and Co would breath a sigh of relief he was never to hit those heights again.