THESE retro images from the Chad archives bring the 1970s back to life on the day ‘It’s a Knockout’ came to Mansfield.
Berry Hill Park was the venue when the TV comedy game show, which spanned more than 30 years on various channels, came to the town 35 years ago.
The programme featured towns and cities competing against each other in various madcap games, often dressed up in foam or rubber suits, or other ridiculous costumes.
But despite the wacky nature of the competition, David Wilson, who was one of the Mansfield team members on 24th April 1977, says the contest required serious physical fitness.
David, a former Nottinghamshire Police officer who met his wife Jayne at the contest, says it was taken very seriously.
“A lot of people at the time did not realise how fit you had to be,” he said.
“It was good slapstick humour and very tongue in cheek. But it was also a serious business and we were definitely in it to win it. I have never been fitter.”
On the day, Mansfield just missed out on victory in the final event to a team from Macclesfield, with Wirksworth coming in third.
David says it was disappointing to miss out on the win after a lot of hard work, which began with an advert in the Chad.
“It asked for people who were interested in appearing in ‘It’s a Knockout’ to attend a training event at Meden Sports Centre,” he said.
“Around 500 people turned up on the first day and we were put through our paces. The numbers were gradually whittled down and around 12 people made the final team.”
There were at least two romances which flourished at the event, with David meeting Jayne and another competitor marrying one of the cheerleaders.
“We have a copy of the show but most people can barely recognise themselves and say ‘was I ever that thin?’,” David added.