Chatting to Peter Jones a
year ago was when the idea of the club making a new wave of its own videos came
up. Peter is an old school friend and he asked me to use my 26 years in sports
broadcasting to get things going, he didnít have to ask twice.
The club have their own
Media Department now so it was important that it revolved around them and I just
acted as the father figure and production organiser. Clubs can be picked off by
outside production companies so the future really is Argyle people doing things
for Argyle direct and nobody else getting percentages on the actual production
So much for production,
then there are the rights issues. Much of the material needed for The Dream
Season video and PAFC100 was from 1961-1992, a period when the ITV franchise
holders in Plymouth were Westward and TSW.
West Country or Carlton
never bought the actual film and tapes from that previous era when they took
over and it went into the care of a charity called The South West Film and
Television Archive who have a huge building full of the regionís history. They
have been great throughout the project and Automatic Productions on The Hoe were
super hosts of the actual editing and technical work.
Everybody agreed to
co-operate with the club, so did the BBC and West Country and so we started The
Dream Season. Of course 1974-75 was before the days of domestic video so even
Paul Mariner and Billy Rafferty did not have any examples of their heroics to
show their grandchildren. When Steve Hill and I visited Billy in Carlisle he
was quite taken aback by seeing himself in his prime from those days as we took
him some rushes on VHS.
I was just starting work
on my first newspaper in South Wales in 74 so I had to travel to Argyle games
when my sports reporting duties allowed. Hereford away was the nearest to me,
three mates came up for the weekend and that 5-2 win is one of the best memories
of that campaign.
That hour long video has
sold 500 copies already and is well on its way to making a profit, it will never
date so the main aim now is to make sure all the fans of that era know it is
available. Tell your friends as there were more than 500 of us at Hereford.
The two hour project on
PAFC100 Ė the whole 100 years -was a bigger fish to fry and we have only just
got it available for the Christmas market. We had great fun interviewing people
like Alex Govan from the fifties and Mike Bickle from the sixties, both had
detailed recall of individual games and goals which is remarkable after forty or
One example Ė and I was
at that game aged 13 Ė was Mikeís heroics against Swindon the week after they
had trounced Arsenal at Wembley to win the League Cup. ďIn the dressing room
Johnny Newman said weíll clap them onto the field and then play them off it ď,
remembered Mike. And they did, the video shows Argyle applauding Don Rogers and
Company onto the pitch and Bicks scores twice, 2-1 to Argyle.
That is not a promotion
winning game but it is a great memory for many, I mentioned it to my brother who
lives in California now and he remembers it and heís just a baby, six years
younger than me! Guess what he wants for Christmas?
The obvious games are all
on PAFC100, Colchester, Burnley, Bristol City, Derby, Darlington Ė you only
have to say the team name and you recall when and why it was important. Iíve
only got three disappointments, I couldnít find anywhere in the archives the 6-0
Boxing Day victory over Torquay and the Leeds winner at Elland Road in the FA
Cup. But weíre going to keep looking and together with another ex-Westward
veteran called Roger Charlesworth I hope to find them one day.
The only other negative
was the mix up between me and the duplication company that led to the order for
DVDs not being exactly what we thought it was. They have said it was partly
their fault and Iíll take the rest of the blame, nobody at the club was at
fault. Rick Cowdery has said I have to watch Luton for a season as my
The club shop have had to
replace some copies as fans have returned discs that won't play but replacements
are on their way and it should be sorted in a week or so. Shame because the same
duplication company have provided thousands of perfect copies on VHS.
But overall this boy from
a council flat in Crownhill has really enjoyed seeing again games and players
that were part of my growing up. No Premier League then, no live games, just
Argyle, The Herald and The Independent. The current team is fantastic and
relegation at Burnley was a footballing disaster but QPR in 1973 and getting
relegated in the mid sixties were similar highs and lows for me.
Sometimes the games you
couldnít get to provide the strangest recollections. After 18 years with ITV I
spent five years in Paris with Eurosport and the night we reached Wembley
against Colchester I was left straining to get a Radio 5 signal in my apartment
there, I would have been seen running and screaming up and down the hallway when
we won, fortunately I was alone at the time.
Next August Iím working
for the Olympics in Athens and I just pray that the kind of games I will be
missing will be Leeds and Forest at home and West Ham and Pompey away. Fingers
What PAFC100 shows is how the
fans have had to ride the green roller coaster, for many of us itís a lifetime
in two hours on VHS or DVD. So Argyle fans, buy the two offerings or there may
not be more productions like them in the future. Argyle Media may have had a
great time producing them but they have to make a profit so letís see less
ManYoo Goal rubbish in stockings around the world, Buy Green this Centenary
Executive Producer, PAFC100 Video/DVD