Your Herefordshire Director Matt Healey has managed to reach the landmark One Million+ views on his Youtube channel. The footage which primarily focuses on Herefordshire has boomed during the past 12 months. It had a slow start though. Matt tells us more.
“I created the account in 2012, but only uploaded one video in the first three years”
The main focus of Matt’s channel is Hereford United and Herefordshire archive footage. Back in the 1990’s Hereford United were featured regularly on the old Central News South local news channel.
Matt explained “The regional ITV Channel back then was based in Abingdon and broadcast news on Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Every Monday the sports presenter Tim Russon would round up the local goals involving the region’s football teams and as a young lad I used to tape the Hereford United matches, sadly my tapes had perished so I presumed that footage would never be seen again, back then if you missed it that was it, there was no catchup, or internet to see the clips once more. I contacted Tim (Russon) to see if the footage was saved, he told me it was all stored in tape containers near the old ITV Meridian studios near Southampton and they had no interest in restoring it sadly”
Matt continues “A couple of years earlier Francis Williams from Radio Hereford FC had converted some DVD footage of Hereford United FA Cup games against West Ham and Arsenal to MP4 for me and I put that on my channel and they did well. I then had the thought of seeing if I could somehow find some of that old Central News South footage of the football club, so I put an appeal out on the Bulls News fan site in 2017. Luckily plenty of Hereford supporters were also taping the footage in the 1990’s and subsequently I was given about 200 old VHS cassettes of Hereford United footage by various supporters. Joanie Roberts at the football club kindly sourced me and old VHS tape player. I needed the software to convert it on my laptop and Mark Farmer was able to supply me with that”
Matt got stuck into his project “I spent most of my spare time the next 12-18 months going through tapes and editing the Hereford United footage and then uploading it to my channel. I used Ron Parrott’s book to include the match description and then playlisted all the seasons. Ron had also a Hereford city history VHS so I converted that and split it into different sections and that did very well. It’s great having all this footage digitally restored as VHS tapes after a while disintegrate and the footage would have been lost forever”
Matt continues “The best part of it has been receiving messages from former Hereford United players who hadn’t seen the footage before and were overjoyed to be able to see themselves playing the game and watching it with their families. A lot of these players weren’t household names and presumed they would never see footage of themselves in a football shirt”
Matt’s most popular video ironically has nothing to do with football “The Vengaboys party in High Town from a few years back has had over 250,000 views. I had been DJing at Yates that evening and it had been the Beer on the Wye festival. I was walking through town and heard music. There were about 30-40 people partying to music and I was there at the right time to film them, it went crazy, according to the stats the video is hugely popular in the Philippines”
Matt also has a bit of lower league football that he has restored too. Which includes footage of the current Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock in his younger days as a manager. “I met Neil a couple of years ago at a press conference that I was at when he was manager of Cardiff City and I showed him clips that I had of him when he was manager of Burton Albion in 1985, he loved it”
Matt’s main job is a local DJ and in March 2020 when Covid-19 struck he found himself out of work and with plenty of time on his hands “A friend of mine called Ian Robertson had discovered a load of old VHS Cassettes in his attic and he asked me if I wanted to take a look, he must have had about 30 or so tapes. A few weeks later Ian sadly died. Having Ian’s tapes it meant I had a focus and it helped me get through the 1st lockdown with a project”
Matt realised in January of this year that he was close to the One Million views “I was on around 900,000 views early in 2021 and I set myself a target of reaching the One Million by April 2021, to hit the target it’s been a case of sharing the footage to various social media football groups and websites, but in doing so in recent weeks the audience has grown massively”
Matt is still on the lookout for more local footage “If anyone has got any old VHS tapes of old Herefordshire news bulletins, or any old Hereford United footage please let me know by sending an E Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org “