Monday, October 25, 2010

Tasmania's own football footage archivist has helped out the odd English pro in reliving their careers

Photo: Lee Gillam probably has a tape of the game you want [PlessPix]

Have you ever recalled a game that you once saw on television and which you would just love to see again?

Or was it just an incident in a particular match that caught your eye and, with the passing of time, you would relish the opportunity to see it again?

Well, local soccer personality Lee Gillam may be the man to help you.

You see, he has 6,000 tapes or DVDs of games, with commentary mainly in English. And more are added to the collection each day.

“There are highlights and the old “Match of the Day” episodes,” Gillam said. “They still come in via mail, from friends all over the world.”

It all started in the 1980s and what could only be described as an obsession has continued until this day.

“It all started back in the 1980s, in the early 1980s, when I just loved to watch Liverpool Football Club and I just started to tape all their games,” Gillam said. “As the years went on, I just started keeping everything.

“It all came about through my love of soccer. I’d tape Liverpool and every FA Cup final.

“I’d even tape radio commentaries of Liverpool.

“Nowadays, I don’t record and keep everything. I’m very selective, unlike some collectors around the world who record absolutely everything.

“I’m selective in what I record. There’s Liverpool, in particular, and Cup Finals, European Champions League games and World Cup games.”

Knowledge of his huge library has spread far and wide and has been a boon to some former English professional players.

Like many players, they don’t become interested in documenting their careers until later in life, when it is often difficult to retrieve information, including footage of their games.

“I’ve had contact with Alan Devonshire, the former West Ham and England player,” said Gillam.

“He found out that I had the DVD of his game against Australia at the MCG in 1980 and I was able to help him out.

“Another FA Cup player, Graham Moseley, from Brighton and Hove Albion in 1983, found out I had video of him in the FA Cup semi-final of 1983 and he got in touch and I was able to provide him with a tape.

“I’m going back to England soon and I hope to catch up with these players.”

Does Gillam have any favourite games or programs?

“My preference is always ‘Match of the Day’ or ‘The Big Match’ highlights from England,” he said.

“When I get deliveries of 30 or 40 or 100 DVDs in the mail, it’s always those ones that I look for.

“I really like ‘Match of the Day’ because it reminds me of my childhood.

“My collection consists of a mixture of whole games and highlights.

“When it comes to Cup Finals, you’ve really got to have the whole game.

“But, I love my highlights and ‘Match of the Day’ from when I was a kid. All those memories.

“And, there’s more time to watch highlights [than whole games] as they only go for 30 or 40 minutes.”

And how has Gillam coped with advances in technology?

“I’m still transferring video tapes to DVD,” he explained.

“I got my video recorder in about 2004. It’s now 2010 and I’ve still got a few boxes with tapes I haven’t changed over yet.”

Gillam, who is 44, is certainly passionate about football and always loved to play the game.

He has a long association with the local game as a player.

He played for Eastern Suburbs, Clarence, Rapid, Caledonians, Nelson United, Taroona and Kingborough.

He started as a goalkeeper, but eventually felt he was too small and so became quite an accomplished striker. He has even played as a defender.

This past season, he watched mainly Division One games locally and is tempted to make a comeback, possibly in the lower social leagues.


Anonymous said...

Now that's a passionate supporter!

Interesting read Walter Thanks & please keep it coming in

Richard Bennett said...

would like a copy of the 4-1 derby county victory over real madrid at the baseball ground in 1976 if available thanks Lee!

typically hard to get for some stupid reason.