Lawrenson’s retirement marks the end of football punditry’s era of innocence | Jonathan Liew

He did not rant, laugh or ‘destroy’ anybody: Mark Lawrenson reached back to when sport on TV was still light entertainmentThis is no tribute. In many ways to break out the violins for Mark Lawrenson would really be to miss the true essence of the man. You may even have missed his retirement last week amid the opera of season-ending farewells. Divock Origi gets a guard of honour at Anfield. Mike Dean gets a 1,500-word valedictory feature in the Athletic. Lawrenson, by contrast, simply slipped away with a droop of the shoulders and very possibly a wry quip about not letting the door hit him on the way out.Which does feel a little strange, even when you take into account the fact that Lawrenson has now been in gentle recession from our screens for some time now. There was still the odd radio gig, semi-regular appearances on Football Focus, the weekly prediction column for the BBC Sport website. But it has also been a curiously inconspicuous retreat, given that – if you give it a moment’s thought – most football fans in this country will probably have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours watching Lawrenson’s face over the years.