I'm here under false pretenses as such, as in - I'm not a Stoke City fan
But before your Admin get ready to boot me out the door, please let me explain, I come in peace and with a specific Stoke City-related purpose.
Between 1965 and 1967 there was a BBC football drama/soap opera United!, transmitted twice a week, about the day-to-day triumphs and tribulations around fictional team Brentwich United, and some scenes were filmed at Stoke's old Victoria Ground.
Alas all 147 episodes were wiped in the late 60's/early 70's during the BBC's infamous purge, some of you will have heard about missing episodes of Doctor Who and Dad's Army, but have a look here at how much archive tv was lost, including the whole of United!.
Well I'm compiling as much information and detail in order to launch a website dedicated to this long lost programme, and through this forum (hopefully with your Admin's kind permission) try to find any press clippings/articles and/or photos from the time, material that some Stoke City fans may still have in a scrapbook somewhere, material that can be shared online to the world and never lost! I'd also like to include any reviews from people who watched it.
I've already contacted the club, The Sentinel newspaper, the British Film Institute, the BBC, and a few people who have already written the odd online article about this rarely known programme. Now I'm in the lengthy process of contacting all the surviving actors, actresses, writers and major production staff, to see if they have any items or anecdotes to share.
Unlike Doctor Who, it seems United! was not sold abroad at the time, which means it's unlikely copies were made, so we may never ever see one minute of it again, but who knows, a dedicated website may prompt someone to submit a photo, a script, an audio clip?
If you've got any information or input you'd like to share, please do so by private message or on this thread.
Funnily enough it was mentioned on here (for the first time I believe) only a few weeks ago, I did a bit of hunting around and discovered that, as you say, no copies appear to have been kept, such a shame.
If you do find anything could you please let us know?
Yes, that's the one. I remember it having been on the TV. One of the actors was quite a bit younger than the rest and had longish dark hair - clearly intended to be a George Best-type character.
Probably George Layton? He was young and had dark hair back then, got those sort of parts as dashing young doctors, etc..
I am too young to remember it, but IMHO footie rarely translates as a fictionalised representation, except in comic books. I remember The Manageress in the 1980s, which was worth it for Cherie Lunghi but, like all these things, from Escape to Victory to When Saturday Comes, it falls apart once the drama focuses on the pitch. The strength of The Damned United emanates from the fact that it avoids portraying any footballing action; it's something you just can't stage.