Benjamin Bullock and Matthew Ponter have used their lockdown months to research Halesowen’s 147-year history to create a book they have titled ‘Yeltzmen’.
The pair met in 2014 when they began volunteering with then new Yeltz TV, with Bullock acting as cameraman and Ponter as commentator.
They left in 2019 when Bullock, now aged 19, moved to Indiana, USA, to study history and music at Wabash College – while Ponter, aged 21, was undergoing a sports journalism degree at Solent University in Southampton – a course he has now completed.
Now, as they revisit their time with the club, they have put together the book looking at the major moments of the club’s history.
“I couldn’t believe that no-one had already written a book on the club’s history, given that there is so much to discuss,” Ponter said. “Of course, there were a few prints released from the glory days during the 1980s and the following few years, but never before had anyone taken time to write a full history.
“It was great to speak to so many different people, past and present, who could provide results, players, and funny anecdotes to which we could filter within the chapters. It was also really nice to have fans thank us for our work, and provide the extra support we needed to finish it.”
The duo arrived at the idea of the publishing the book during a virtual walk to Wembley where Bullock and his stepfather Richard walked laps of the Halesowen ground as part of a club fundraiser.
The 170-page book, which sold more than 100 copies ahead of its release on Saturday, is even more poignant in a year where Halesowen still hope they may get to go to Wembley for the FA Trophy final – despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has certainly been a demanding yet rewarding task,” Bullock added. “The two of us approached the book from a slightly different perspective. Matt’s background in journalism gave him different insights and contacts to my historical one.
“A lack of information has plagued Yeltz historians for many years, but access to old newspaper archives has enabled us to uncover some fascinating stories.”
The book can be ordered from the Halesowen Town website, as 100 per cent of the profits are donated to the club.