Nowadays all our games are recorded in high definition footage, from several vantage points – with all angles covered, little is left to the imagination in recent seasons!
But that wasn’t always the case. During our Elm Park era, our live TV appearances were few and far between – and the most that many of our fans could hope to glimpse was a minute or two at the ends of the news, or to wait for an end-of-season review.
That’s where you come in. Our ambition is to build a comprehensive digital archive of footage, old and new, to preserve and protect Reading’s history.
While we have a lot of historic footage already – especially from recent seasons – there are also plenty of gaps in our archive that we need to fill. And we suspect that a lot of that footage might exist on VHS and Betamax recordings in attics of our super-fans across Berkshire!
Somewhere out there, there could be footage of our first live televised game (our floodlit 3-0 friendly win against Racing Club de Paris in 1954), or film recordings of our FA Cup tie against Manchester United in 1912 or Southern TV’s coverage of our centenary match against Gillingham in 1971.
We’re also keen to hear if you've got club-produced videos (including full matches and season round-ups)… and we know that footage of Robin Friday is as elusive as he was on the pitch, but we’re hopeful of finding some more!
In more modern times – did you record ITV Meridian's coverage of our promotion celebrations in 2012? Did you save footage of BBC South’s coverage from our open top bus parade in 2006? We’re in touch with broadcasters too, but your input may prove invaluable. And we're always on the look-out for fan-made footage too - let us know what you've got.
What we want to gather
- Live games
Full or part-recordings of our live broadcast matches – our first full domestic live fixture was against Birmingham City in the FA Cup in 1992 on Sky Sports
- Off-air recordings
Matches that were recorded for sale on video (not for TV broadcast)
- News match highlights
Recordings of snippets on news footage, from the likes of BBC, Southern television, TVS and Meridian
- Other televised features
Anything else that might be of value – such as news features or interviews around our most important matches
- Fan-created videos
Even back in the 1960s fans had cine cameras. Maybe you took footage inside or outside the ground, perhaps of your child being a mascot or general crowd scenes?
How we want to use the footage
First and foremost, we want to ensure that as much footage as possible is digitised and stored securely – so that it doesn’t get lost in the annals of time and so that future generations can enjoy (and despair!) in our shared history. It will be safely duplicated from its original format (such as VHS, Betamax or DVD) into digital form.
Then we hope to give the collection a semblance of order, so that all of our supporters can watch our historic games and highlights, on demand.
Having a repository of footage will also allow us to clip out special moments to share on social media – bringing past matches to life for a wider audience.
How to get in touch
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch - we would love to hear from you about what kind of footage you have!
To whet the appetite for bygone years, here's a full re-run of our 1988 Simod Cup win against Luton Town...