Lockdown has given me the opportunity to sort out my Chester football memorabilia and one of the jobs I have been intending to do for ages is digitise some old interviews.
From 1992 to 1995 I wrote a piece in the programme which involved interviewing former players. I did a lot of the interviews over the phone but I went to visit a fair number as well and recorded the conversation as an aid. By 1995 I had run out of players to contact but was also concentrating on writing the history of the club which first came out in 1997. In 1998 I started interviewing current players for couple of seasons and once again recorded many of the conversations.
As a result I have around 20 tape cassettes. I quickly discovered that the three portable tape machines we have in the house no longer work so I sent off for a new recorder which also gave me the facility to convert the tapes to MP3.
It is quite a convoluted process but I seem to be getting into a rhythm and have converted a few of them now.
The quality is poor in many cases with a lot of hissing and background noise but the conversation seems to be understandable (from the bits I have heard) which is good news. I haven't been listening to them as they are downloaded and have just let them run in the background but they do sound interesting.
The vast majority of the players I interviewed in the early 1990s are no longer with us and it includes at least one player from the 1930s. There is also a very long interview with a supporter who remembers watching the club in the 1920s and 1930s and I remember his memory was very good although the quality of the tape is not brilliant.
Amongst the other gems is an interview with Terry Owen who is the father of former England international Michael. I went round to his house for the interview and I remember a very young Michael (he must have been 14 or 15) sitting at the table while we chatted. He was incredibly shy but it was the week he had signed for Liverpool and Terry was naturally very proud and said that he had a bright future. I remember in the interview asking why he didn't sign for Chester.
When I have digitised them all they should make a fascinating listen.