In the seventies and eighties if you wanted to see Chesterfield highlights you were rather limited.  No Football League compilation shows, no internet, no satellite TV sports news shows and not even guaranteed goals on local television news.  For one year in the early eighties there was no league football shown not even as part of the news.

To get a anything like highlights of any league football  you needed Match of the Day or ITV’s Sunday afternoon rival The Big Match.  The BBC was national while ITV was regional; both covered every division in theory.  Of course a regional pool of twelve clubs with few in the top tier allowed a better chance of the Spireites appearing.

In fact excepting the FA game versus Nottingham Forest we appeared once on MOTD.  This was the 1980 game at Craven Cottage.  Interesting, apart from 1930s and 1940s newsreels, it was the BBC that showed the first footage from the Rec with the 1963 Netherfield FA Cup replay played one afternoon.  David Coleman presented Sports View from the touchline.  A few years ago there was a news item in the North-West talking about the re-discovery of this footage- I hope for further information about this!

On ITV there were away matches at Plymouth, Newport County, Halifax, York and Rochdale before video recorders came along.  There were suggestions of other away games in other regions but the first at Saltergate in the video era was against Watford on 1978.  We lost this game 2-0 but it was the first time a gantry was erected above the Pop side.  As far as I know there are no copies of this game.

The following season Rotherham came and were well beaten 3-0.  This game was a Big Match and there were other games covered on Calendar and Look North.  The readily availability of domestic videos after this point means there is a lot more coverage available although I am sure I don’t have it all.

I keep a record of my games with video here.  If you have more videos or information let us know.

Peter Whiteley