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Story posted: Friday, 12th July 1991

Cameras roll for Rovers
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers have been picked from hundreds of Midland soccer clubs to be the subject of a BBC television documentary.
And today the man planning to make the programme – former Burton Mail journalist Max Mulgrew – revealed that it was the friendly welcome that he and his colleagues received from the club that made them decide to pick Gresley.

“We discussed one or two other possibilities, but Gresley was the first club we approached and they were so welcoming we decided there was no need to look any further,” said Mr Mulgrew.

Work on the “fly-on-the-wall” look at both behind and in front of the scenes at Rovers’ Moat Ground is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, when cameras will focus on the players in pre-season training.

It will mark the start of the project set to run throughout the football season, which runs from August to May.

Mr Mulgrew – who once followed Gresley’s fortunes for the Mail – explained: “I am one of the producers on a BBC series called The Midlands Report which produces half-hour documentaries for screening on Thursday evenings on BBC2.

“We cover a whole range of subjects from events like the Kegworth air crash to the release of the Birmingham Six. But we are also interested in doing other kinds of programmes and one of the projects we decided on was to follow the life of a football club in one of the lower leagues.

“We hear a lot about First Division football clubs, £1m transfer deals and the activities of famous managers but not often about life in the lower divisions where people have a day job and play football in all sorts of conditions.

“Gresley are a classic club centred on a mining village with a long history and a lot of community involvement.

“The club is in the public eye after it’s FA Vase appearance at Wembley when thousands of people turned out on the streets of South Derbyshire to wish them well.

“They’re also ambitious to move to a higher league and we’re interested in the fact that they are in a geographic ‘no mans land’ between the north and south of the country. What we are planning is a fly-on-the-wall look at them following all that goes on during the season, behind the scenes and during matches, at training sessions, meetings with sponsors and social events, and following them on their trips around the country.

“We want to follow players in their day jobs and find out what makes them tick, and focus on long-time supporters. Members of the club have been extremely helpful, offering total access. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and I’ve been impressed by the enthusiasm of the management and committee. People like Peter Hall, the chairman, devote their whole lives to the club.”

Club development officer Frank McArdle said: “Gresley welcome the BBC. We think it is just reward for the efforts of the whole community to put Gresley on the map. As far as we’re concerned it’s just another step forward in what promises to be another momentous season.

“I am pleased that the development and progress the club will make during the coming season will be recorded for all to see.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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