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Programme of the Day – 29th April


On this day in 1933, Everton beat Manchester City 3-0 in the FA Cup Final.


These were glory years for Everton, with a convincing Cup Final win following succesive League Championships.   With Bill “Dixie” Dean scoring goals in prodigious quantities, The Toffees won the Second Division Championship in 1931 and followed it a year later with the First Division title.

            As the famous names in their line-up would suggest, Everton were no one-man team.  Ted Sagar in goal, Billy Cook and Warnie Cresswell at full back, and Cliff Britton in midfield provided the backbone whiched allowed a potent forward line to flourish.    Manchester City were not short of star quality either, but the likes of Matt Busby, Sam Cowan, and Alec Herd had to wait another year for their winners medals.

           The 1933 Cup Final was the first in which players wore numbered jerseys, with Everton 1 to 11, and City wearing 12 to 22 in reverse order (goalkeeper Langford being the highest numbered).   Legend has it that City arrived at the stadium far too early, and their nerve evaporated as they whiled away several hours in the dressing room.

           Having survived early pressure from their opponents, Everton took control of the game, and outside left Jimmy Stein capitalised on a mistake to put them ahead five minutes before the interval.  Langford dropped a cross from Cliff Britton in his path.

           City’s goalkeeper had little opportunity to steady his nerves, and failed to gather another Britton cross seven minutes after the interval.  Dean headed the loose ball home and the match was effectively won.

           With ten minutes to go, Jimmy Dunn headed home an Albert Geldard corner to deny Manchester City’s Jimmy McMullen the Cup winners medal he so desired in the last match of a glorious career.   McMullen had captained the “Wembley Wizards” in 1928 ; instead, it was Dixie Dean who received the Cup from The Duke of York.


The teams were:


Everton : Sagar, Cook, Cresswell ; Britton, White, Thomson ; Geldard, Dunn, Dean (capt.), Johnson, Stein

Manchester City : Langford, Cann, Dale, Busby, Cowan (capt), Bray, Toseland,Marshall, Herd, McMullen, Brook.

Referee – E. Wood (Sheffield)   Attendance – 92,950  Receipts £24,831


After the highly coloured Cup Final programme covers of the 1920’s, the following decade saw some extremely dull covers, this one being no exception.  A black and white cut-away photograph of two players was superimposed on a black and green background.   The front cover advertisement gives notice that the News Chronicle would be mentioned on most internal pages.

           The teams received a mention on the page 3 title page, along with photos of the Cup and both sides of a medal.  The King’s Portrait was followed by a programme of music, then on page 9 came head and shoulder photographs of the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary of the F.A.   Chas. Cooper wrote a lengthy article on “An All-Lancashire Cup Final” before the centre spread team selections, numbered 1 to 22, in 2-3-5 formation.   The centre pages contained the only hint of (green) colour in the otherwise black print on white gloss paper internal pages.

             Three pages of the second half of the 24 page programme contained pen pictures of both teams, and each had head and shoulder photographs on a separate page.     The non-advertising pages finished with a page on “The Team’s Records : How They Reached the Final” by Chas. Cooper, and that season’s competition results from the third round to the semi finals.

           Advertisers included Mazda Lamps, Hearts of Oak Benefit Society, “Insist on having a Marconiphone in your home”, Bovril, News of the World, Wembley Stadium, the Sporting Cups and Trophies Exhibition in the Strand, “See the Genuine Film of the Cup Final in British Movietone News and in Gaumont Graphic in the best cinemas – showing from tonight”, Ekco radios and, on the back page, News Chronicle.



Programme of the Day – 24th April


On this day in 1948, Manchester United beat Blackpool 4-2 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.


The first of the three great Manchester United teams built by manager Matt Busby beat Stanley Matthews’ Blackpool side in one of the best ever FA Cup Finals.   The match had everything – end-to-end attacking play, goals aplenty, controversy, top class football and it was played in a sporting spirit throughout.

            Photographic evidence developed after the match showed that Chilton’s trip on Mortensen in 12 minutes was outside the area but a penalty was given and was converted by Shimwell.   Blackpool’s lead was short lived, as Rowley beat goalkeeper Robinson to a Delaney cross to equalise in 28 minutes.     Ten minutes before half-time, Blackpool regained the lead, Kelly heading on a Matthews free kick for Mortensen to shoot past Crompton.

            Behind at half time, the second half task suited a Manchester team geared to attack.   The equaliser came in 69 minutes when Jack Rowley dived to head a Morris free kick into the net.   Ten minutes later, Pearson put United ahead from an Anderson through ball.    The match was settled with seven minutes to go when Anderson’s speculative 30 yard cross-come-shot was deflected past his goalkeeper by Hugh Kelly.

            There was no disgrace in defeat for a Blackpool side who fully contributed to the entertainment on show at Wembley.  They were to suffer defeat again three years later, before finally capturing the Cup in 1953.    For United, the victory gave Cup winners medals to some of the finest players of the immediate post-war years.


The teams were:


Manchester United : Crompton, Carey, Aston, Anderson, Chilton, Cockburn, Delaney, Morris, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten

Blackpool : Robinson, Shimwell, Crosland, Johnston, Hayward, Kelly, Matthews, Munro, Mortensen, Dick, Rickett

Referee – C.J. Barrick (Northampton).  Attendance 99,000  Receipts £39,500


Post-war paper rationing had seen Cup Final programmes shrink in size (smaller than A5) and the number of pages (down to twenty).   The front, back and inside covers were in three colours, green, blue and red.   The royal salutation came on page three, with the Earl of Athlone of the FA wishing the photographed King and Queen congratulations on their silver wedding.   Time Table and Programme of Music was opposite photographs of four F.A. officials.  This was followed by a “History of the Blackpool Club” by “R.P.”, opposite head only photos of the Blackpool team.  Then came two pages of pen pictures.    The teams in 2-3-5 formation were spread across the centre fold, and the four page treatment was repeated for the Manchester United club and players.

           Statistics were in the form of a half page on how the clubs reached the Final, with a summary of their Cup goalscorers, and a full page of previous finals.   The remainder of the rather limited and disappointing programme comprised advertisements.    The stringencies of paper rationing may excuse the brevity of the issue, but not the cover price of 1/-.   Chelsea and Arsenal, to name but two, were at that time producing far better league match programmes at half the price.

           Adverts included Taylor Walker Beers, “Make Blackpool Your Holiday Goal”, forthcoming sports at Wembley, the Radio Times, and on the back page, Pickfords removals.   In contrast to pre-war issues, advertising was limited and muted, with none of the ubiquitous strap-lines for a featured newspaper on every page.




Programme of the Day – 23rd April


On this day in 1963, England beatNorthern Ireland 4-0 in the UEFA International Youth Tournament Final at Wembley, watched by 35,000


As part of the celebrations of the Football Association’s Centenary, the 16th UEFA International Youth Tournament was staged in England, from 11th to 23rd April 1963.   The host nation headed a qualification table above Rumania, Holland and USSR, and a John Sissons goal beat Scotland in the semi final at White City.

Northern Ireland won a section which included Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Sweden, then drew 3-3 withBulgaria at Southampton in the semi final.   They drew lots to determine a winner, and the luck of the Irish held.

England completed a remarkable record of not conceding a goal throughout the tournament with a convincing win in the final, and it would have been even greater but for a splendid performance by Pat Jennings in the Irish goal.

In contrast to the senior team which would win the next international trophy to be decided at the stadium three years later, the England Youth success was founded on two flying wingers in French and Whittaker.   Their first half ascendancy had only a Napier own goal (turning in Whittaker’s cross) to show on the scoreboard.

In the second half, England dominated the play and added three more goals through Sammels, Whittaker and Sissons, to underline England’s right to be called the junior champions of Europe.


The teams were:


England – Cowen (Chelsea) ; Badger (Sheffield United), Shaw (Sheffield United) ; Smith (Liverpool), Chatterley (Aston Villa), Harris (Chelsea) ; French (Shrewsbury), Sammels (Arsenal), Jones (Bury), Sissons (West Ham), Whittaker (Arsenal)

Northern Ireland – Jennings (Newry) ; Corbett (Ballyclare), McCurley (Linfield) ; Nicholl (Coleraine), Napier (Bolton), Todd (Burnley) ; Dunlop (Coleraine), Guy (Linfield), Clements (Wolverhampton), Ross (Glentoran), McKimmey (Glenavon)


The 36 page programme was in the same size and format as the programmes for the 1966 World Cup, although the front cover was only in three colours, blue, red and green.    The internal pages were printed black on white semi gloss, which started with a full page portrait of the Queen, Patron of the FA.   The Duke of Gloucester, as FA President penned a page of welcome, while that of the Chairman of the FA was translated into three languages, as was the message from the President of UEFA.

There were features on Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis, where the players were billeted, “Football in England”, a map of the South East showing where the games would be played, and a page article on “The Beauty Which is England” accompanied by a tourist brochure photograph.

Qualifying Match results and the results of previous tournaments were listed, in advance of a list of tournament fixtures, and there was a four page listing of each squad.    Eight pages were set aside to complete the appearances, scorers and results of all the matches, and there was a page on the refurbished Wembley stadium.   The Tournament Regulations were listed over three pages.

Advertising was quite unobtrusive, with full page adverts for Edwards (Goal) Nets, the “Simlam” range of football boots, Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly, and Butlin’s.    Surprisingly, the inside front and back pages were completely blank.   The programme was excellent value at 1/-, and contains the names of many footballers who went on to make their mark in the senior game.

Programme of the Day – 22nd April


On this day in 1978, Southport drew 1-1 withHuddersfield Town in a Fourth Division fixture.   Southport used the occasion to celebrate 50 years membership of the Football League, unsuspecting that this would be the last Football League match, to date, to be played at Haig Avenue.


Unbeaten in the first four matches and in 10th position, Southport’s next victory came on 31st December and in early March they were second bottom, where they finished the season.


Their third successive application for re-election was unsuccessful (despite finishing seven points ahead of Rochdale) and Hereford United were elected in their place on the back of their high-profile FA Cup exploits.  To date, the Sandgrounders have not returned to the Football League.


Huddersfield went in the reverse direction, as low as third bottom after six fixtures, they climbed to seventh place by the end of March, although a dreadful run in April saw them fall back to 11th place.  Two seasons later, Huddersfield won the Championship of the Fourth Division, to which they have never returned.


Gary Cooper scored for the home side, and Wayne Goldthorpe for the visitors.


The teams were:

Southport: Tony Harrison; Chris Kisby and Eric Snookes; Tommy O’Neil, Steve Brooks and Hugh Fisher; Gary Cooper, captain Alan Watson, George Jones (substituted by Terry Nolan), Geoff Gay and Paul Birchall. 


Huddersfield: Alan Starling; Malcolm Brown and Phil Sandercock; Ian Holmes, Dave Sutton and Jim Branagan; Mick Butler, Peter Hart, Wayne Goldthorpe, Terry Armstrong and captain Terry Gray.


Referee was J.K. Butcher of Kendal and the attendance was 1,465


Southport issued a special edition, 24 page A5 programme, printed internally in blue on white gloss paper.   The content was dominated by historical features and statistics, with profiles of past players and managers and old team photographs.    The only contemporary contents were League tables for first team and reserves, a page of current season statistics and two pages on the visitors.




Programme of the Day – 19th April


On this day in 1966, Liverpool beat Celtic 2-0 in the second leg of the semi final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Anfield, overcoming a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.


Celtic defended their lead masterfully for an hour, then lost two goals in five minutes, to Tommy Smith and Geoff Strong.    They had the ball in the net in the last minute, but the equaliser was controversially disallowed.


Liverpool’s good fortune did not extend to the final, where they were unlucky to 2-1 lose after extra time to Borussia Dortmund in monsoon conditions at Hampden Park, Glasgow.


There was ample compensation for both clubs in their domestic Leagues, which they both won, Liverpool for the second time in three seasons and Celtic for the first time in 12 years.


The teams were:


Liverpool: Tommy Lawrence; Chris Lawler and Gerry Byrne; Gordon Milne, Ron Yeats and Billy Stevenson; Ian Callaghan, Geoff Strong, Ian St John, Tommy Smith and Peter Thompson


Celtic: Ronnie Simpson; Ian Young and Tommy Gemmell; Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill and John Clark; Bobby Lennox, Joe McBride, Steve Chalmers, Bertie Auld and John Hughes


The referee was Joseph Hannet of Belgium and the attendance was 54,000


Liverpool issued their standard 16 page A5 sized programme, printed internally in black on semi gloss paper.  There was a welcome “From the Boardroom” on page two, opposite photographs of the Celtic captain, manager and chairman.  Pen pictures of the visitors were followed by a two page article on Celtic, and in the second half of the programme there was a page of “Did You Know …” facts about them and a team photograph.   The non-advertising content of the programme concluded with League tables which showed both clubs heading their respective divisions, and on the back page were results and fixtures for the calendar year for Liverpool’s first team and reserves.



Programme of the Day – 18th April


See Facebook page for illustration


On this day in 1968 West Bromwich Albion beat Liverpool 2-1 in the second replay of an FA Cup 6th round tie played at Maine Road, Manchester.


A feature of Cup football, in particular the FA Cup, which is no longer with us and rarely mourned in its passing, is the infinite replay.  For over one hundred years, the rules of the competition dictated that clubs would keep playing as many games as was required until one of them scored more goals than the other over 90 minutes (or 120 with extra time).

           Older fans with a highly selective memory may cast a nostalgic look back to the days of third and subsequent matches played at neutral venues, usually a couple of days after the latest drawn game in the rush to have the tie settled before the next round took place. It certainly added variety and a touch of the unusual to the football season, but the reality was that these games produced an unacceptable additional burden on players, spectators and the various authorities.

           The final straw came in the FA Cup competition of 1990/1.   Arsenal and Leeds drew 0-0 at Highbury on 27th January, in the Fourth round, watched by 30,905.    The replay at Elland Road on 30th January attracted 27,753, but 120 minutes could not separate the teams, although there were goals from Lee Chapman for Leeds and Anders Limpar for Arsenal.

           It was back to scoreless fare for the second replay, played at Highbury on 13th February, watched by 30,433, the clubs tossing a coin for choice of venue.     Three days later, 27,190 watched Arsenal win 2-1 Paul Merson and Lee Dixon for the Gunners, Lee Chapman for Leeds) at Elland Road.    The combination of the match being settled on the same day as four Fifth round ties, and two of the country’s leading clubs being asked to play the equivalent of five matches to settle one round, prompted a change in the rules to have penalty kicks settle ties after extra time of the first replay.    It should be noted, however, that second and subsequent replays were still used in the qualifying rounds for a further six seasons.

           The record for the Cup competition proper was 5 matches, lasting 9 hours and 22 minutes, required for Stoke to beat Bury in the third round of the 1954/55 competition.     The odd time is because the replay was abandoned after 112 minutes due to a snowstorm.   The three subsequent matches were played at Goodison Park, Anfield and Old Trafford.

The following season,Chelsea took five matches (9 hours) to beat Burnley in the fourth round, the replays being hosted by Birmingham City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.     The record for the entire competition is held by Alvechurch and Oxford City, who needed 6 matches, lasting 11 hours, to settle their 4th Qualifying Round match in 1971/72.


Programmes for second and third replays were the responsibility of the host club, and a collection of these includes items of all shapes and sizes.   No matter the status of the host, if the match involved teams from the lower leagues, the programme was invariably a single or folded sheet, comprising little more than team lines.   When bigger clubs were involved, a greater effort was made, such as the West Brom v Liverpool Sixth round second replay in 1968, staged at Maine Road.

            Manchester City issued a full sized 12 page programme, printed in black and white inside, with a sky blue, black and white semi gloss cover.  There was a welcome from the City chairman, a page editorial by Gerry Harrison, and pen pictures and full page team photos of both clubs. Opposite the teams in the centre pages were the Programme of Music and the paths taken by both clubs to reach this stage of the Cup. Action photographs from the previous matches were opposite a league table and a list of City’s first team and reserves results and fixtures.   The back page carried the programme’s only advert, Groves Draught Beer available in the City social club.


Programme of the Day – 17th April


On this day in 1962, Fulham played Tottenham Hotspur in a First Division match at Craven Cottage.


Many of us, of a certain age, will be familiar with Mettoy footballs, which were advertised in the centre page of the Fulham programme 1961/62.     The reason for this particular programme being singled out in the promotion campaign was that the footballs were endorsed by Fulham and England inside forward Johnny Haynes who, improbably, declared "I use 'Wembley' footballs in training and I have no hesitation in recommending them for use anywhere."  More credibly, he added "They are, of course, ideal for youngsters."

            Mettoy started manufacturing stamped metal toys at a factory in Northamptonshire in 1938.    Its co-founder, Arthur Katz was born in Johannesburg in 1908 to German - Jewish parents, returning to Germany aged 12 with his mother after his father died. After school and apprenticeship he started work at Tipp & Co, a famous manufacturer of pressed tin toys owned by his cousin Philip Ullmann. Hitler's rise to power in 1933 persuaded Katz to move to Britain - South African-born, he had a British passport. Philip Ullmann soon joined him and together they set up a new company, Mettoy, in Northampton.

            The town had reason to thank the new arrivals: within six years the Mettoy factory there employed 600. Its success as a maker of metal toys led to lucrative contracts to make gun components during the Second World War, and a large extra factory was acquired in Swansea to cope with demand. Katz was now managing director and, when peace returned, Mettoy gradually moved away from tinplate toys to plastic ones, grabbing the chance to establish strong export markets.

            It was Katz's decision to launch the range of Corgi die-cast model cars - named after the Welsh dog favoured by the Queen - that took his company into the big time. Corgi hit the innovation trail from day one and never stopped finding new details and features which ensured that its toy cars, trucks, buses and tractors provided hour after hour of fun. It came up with opening bonnets, detailed interiors, shining glass headlights, opening doors and boots, and working jacks that could be lowered to release perfect miniature wheels.

           Perhaps Corgi's most famous toy cars were its James Bond Aston Martin DB5 and other film and television-related models. Ironically, although the Bond Aston is one of the best- selling toy cars of all time, perfect examples are now worth some £200 each, with the box alone representing around £130 of that value, according to Brooks auctioneers.

           Mettoy brought out a smaller range of cars in 1964 to rival the phenomenally successful Matchbox toys. Continuing the dog theme, Katz called them Husky models and they were sold by the million in Woolworths.

           By the early 1970s Mettoy was employing 3,500 people and turnover leapt from £9.3m to £19.9m between 1972 and 1976. The gentlemanly Mr Katz, who loved nothing better than being on the factory floor early in the morning to see his toy empire whirr into life, had become a grandee of the British toy industry. He was president of the British Toy Manufacturers' Association from 1971 until 1976; he was appointed OBE in 1961 and CBE for export achievements in 1973.  Mettoy won a Queen's Award for Export three times. Katz admitted to loving work in an industry that gave pleasure to children, and branched out into Playcraft pre-school toys and Wembley footballs.

            He retired in 1976; by then Peter Katz, his son, was managing director. Soaring inflation and a strong pound meant British manufacturers struggled to compete with Far East rivals. One by one the old names fell: Dinky Toys were finished in 1979, Matchbox in 1982 and Mettoy itself was bankrupt by 1983; its Swansea plant, at one time the area's biggest employer, was bulldozed and production shifted to China. Its old rival Mattel bought the name in 1989 and it was sold again in 1995 in a management buy-out.



Programme of the Day – 16th April


On this day in 1983, Brighton & Hove Albion beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in an FA Cup semi final at Highbury, watched by 54,000.


Jimmy Case opened the scoring in 14 minutes but Ante Mirocevic equalised for Wednesday eleven minutes after the interval.  With twelve minutes to go Case sent Gordon Smith clear and after a goalmouth scramble Mike Robinson scored the winning goal.


Brighton held Manchester United to a draw in the final, but lost 4-0 in the replay.   Marooned at the bottom of the First Division since January, they were relegated to join Sheffield Wednesday (who finished sixth) in the following season’s Second Division


The teams were:


Brighton: Graham Moseley; Gary Stevens and Graham Pearce; Tony Grealish, Steve Foster and Steve Gatting; Jimmy Case, Gary Howlett, Mike Robinson, Gordon Smith and Neil Smillie


Sheffield Wednesday: Bob Bolder; Mel Sterland and Pat Heard; Mark Smith, Mike Lyons and Gary Shelton; Gary Megson, David Mills, Gary Bannister, Andy McCulloch and Ante Mirocevic.


The referee was George Courteney of Spennymoor.


As was the convention until the early 1990s, the host club produced the programme for FA Cup semi finals and Arsenal issued a 24 page issue in their unique format and size (smaller than B5),  Blue replaced red in the internal glossy pages, although there were four pages of full colour photographs, the two in the centre of both squads.


There were features on the captains and managers (Jimmy Melia and Jack Charlton), pen pictures of both teams and photographs from previous rounds.   The programme was characteristically devoid of advertisements.


Programme of the Day – 15th April


On this day in 1961, England beat Scotland 9-3 at Wembley.


Scotland goalkeeper Frank Haffey has gone down in history as “the man to blame” for England’s record thrashing of the “auld enemy”, but this belies the early stages of a match which saw a 3-2 scoreline, and a wretched performance by those defenders in front of him.

           Jimmy Greaves of Chelsea, prior to his move to Italy, was at his quick-silver best and scored a hat-trick.   Johnny Haynes,who orchestrated the performance with a commanding display in midfield, scored two as did Greaves’ future Spurs striking partner, Bobby Smith.   Bobby Robson and Bryan Douglas completed the England scoring.

           Scotland included the Rangers full backs Shearer and Caldow, Dave Mackay, Billy McNeill, Denis Law and Ian St John, but collectively and individually played very poorly.   Their goals were scored by Mackay, Wilson and Quinn.

           England, pre-Ramsey, were on a roll with their fifth consecutive win, scoring 32 goals in that time with a team that scarcely changed in that period.   The quicksilver Jimmy Greaves had scored eleven of them.   It was Frank Haffey’s last game forScotland.


The teams were:

England: Ron Springett (Sheffield Wednesday); Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool), Mick McNeil (Middlesbrough); Bobby Robson (West Brom), Peter Swan (Sheffield Wednesday) and Ron Flowers (Wolves); Bryan Douglas (Blackburn Rovers), Jimmy Greaves (Chelsea), Bobby Smith (Tottenham Hotspur), Johnny Haynes (Fulham) and Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)


Scotland: Frank Haffey (Celtic); Bobby Shearer and Eric Caldow (both Rangers); Dave Mackay (Tottenham Hotspur), Billy McNeill (Celtic) and Bert McCann (Motherwell); Johnny McLeod (Hibs), Denis Law (Manchester City), Ian St John and Pat Quinn (both Motherwell) and Davie Wilson (Rangers)


Wembley Stadium issued their familiar programme for the latest clash of the Auld Enemy, with an aerial photograph of the stadium in blue, and background design in blue, red and green on the front cover.    As programmes of its time went, this was a reasonable issue, albeit  the cover price of 1/- was double the price of ordinary League programmes.    The sixteen pages included articles on the forthcoming World Cup Finals and the future of Scottish football, plus detailed pen pictures of both squads and action photos of the previous year’s meeting at Hampden.     There were page 3 portraits of the guests of honours, the     Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and opposite the centre page team lines (in 2-3-5 formation) was the familiar Time Table and Programme of Music.

            Advertisements included the Radio Times (on the inside front page), Bovril, featuring Jimmy Greaves in a Chelsea strip, on the back page ; Double Diamond beers (inside back page), British European Airways, Senior Service cigarettes, and forthcoming Ice Hockey, Greyhound Racing and Football events at the Stadium.



Programme of the Day – 14th April


On this day in 1956 Bishop Auckland beat Corinthian Casuals 4-1 in the replay of the FA Amateur Cup Final at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough.


During the 1950s, the FA Amateur Cup Final was one of the major events in the football calendar, attracting huge crowds to Wembley Stadium.    The move to the home of the FA Cup Final and most England internationals transformed the Amateur Final from a match shunted around major League club grounds, but in the last decade of the competition’s life, the occasion had shrunk back to its earlier, neglected, place in football’s end of season matches.

            In its heyday, however, the public were entranced by the finals between clubs who, ostensibly, did not pay their players, no matter the size of crowds they attracted in their own competition and their frequent giant-killing acts against League opposition in the FA Cup.

           There was often an element of “north v south” rivalry in Amateur Cup finals.   The Northern League, more accurately from the north-east of England, produced clubs like Bishop Auckland and Crook Town, whose prominence and achievements made them the non-league equivalent of Manchester United and Liverpool.   From the London area, and the Isthmian and Athenian Leagues, came the great amateur sides such as Leytonstone, Barnet, Wycombe Wanderers and, most intriguingly, Pegasus.

           Formed in 1948 by Professor Harold Thompson, later a controversial Chairman of the Football Association, Pegasus brought together footballers from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, primarily to undertake foreign tours and to play in the Amateur Cup.  They did not compete in any League, but beat Bishop Auckland in the 1951 Final, and Harwich & Parkeston two years later.

           The programmes from the FA Amateur Cup finals provide a fascinating set to collect.   They are different in style and format, from year to year, provide reminders of the glory days of amateur non league football, and recall some of the great names of the post-war era, both clubs and players.   

            The first three post war final programmes were issued by the host clubs, two very different productions from Chelsea, with a handsome programme from Arsenal in between.   The first Wembley final, in 1949, saw a small-sized programme issued by the Stadium, in common with FA Cup Final and International programmes of that time, but through the 1950s the programmes got larger, and the cover designs more striking and colourful.

            The presence of North Eastern clubs often meant a replay in that part of the country, and there are programmes issued by Middlesbrough and Newcastle United for the 1954 Final (Crook Town v Bishop Auckland), 1956 (Bishop Auckland v Corinthians Casuals) and 1962 (Crook Town v Hounslow Town).   The last drawn final was in 1967, when Enfield beat Skelmersdale United in the replay at Maine Road, Manchester.

This varied set of programmes also invite a contrast between the heyday of some of the clubs, and their present situations.   While Wycombe Wanderers, Barnet, Wimbledon and Dagenham are now Football League clubs (the last two by a very convoluted process), Leytonstone, Pegasus, Leyton and Hounslow Town are no longer with us, while Willington Town, Harwich & Parkeston, Romford and Ilford are now in much reduced circumstances compared with the days when they could attract near-capacity crowds to Wembley Stadium.


Programme of the Day – 13th April


On this day in 1985, Everton beat Luton Town 2-1 in the semi final of the FA Cup at Villa Park, watched by 45,289


Luton took the lead before half time through Ricky Hill, but Kevin Sheedy equalised and Derek Mountfield scored the winner in extra time.    Everton lost the FA Cup Final to a Norman Whiteside goal for Manchester United


The close result was no fluke; Luton finished ninth in the First Division, and Everton were just two points behind Champions Liverpool, but won the Championship the following season only to be denied a European Cup place following the ban on English clubs in Europe after Heysel.  They have not been as strong since then.


Luton maintained their top division place until they became the first victims of the re-introduced third relegation place in 1992.  They were relegated again in 1996 and dropped into the lowest division in 2001.  In 2009 they were relegated into the Conference, and it took them five years to return to the Football League.   They too have never returned to the heights they achieved in 1985.


The teams were:


Everton: Neville Southall; Gary Stevens and Pat Van Den Hauwe; Kevin Ratcliffe, Derek Mountfield and Peter Reid; Trevor Steven, Andy Gray, Graeme Sharp, Paul Bracewell and Kevin Sheedy.


Luton Town: Les Sealey; Tim Breacker and Mitchell Thomas; Wayne Turner, Steve Foster and Mal Donaghy; Ricky Hill, Brian Stein, Mick Harford (substituted by David Moss), Emeka Nwajiobi and Garry Parker.


Referee was John Martin of Alton.


Aston Villa produced a superb 40 page B5 sized programme printed in full colour on semi gloss paper.   There was extensive coverage of both teams, including profiles on the managers (Howard Kendall and David Pleat), pen pictures, statistics, featured on key players and excellent historical articles. There were just three pages of adverts in the entire production.


Programme of the Day – 12th April


On this day in 1924,England drew 1-1 with Scotland in the first International match to be staged at Wembley Stadium.


An unremarkable game marked the first ever International match played beneath the Twin Towers, a year after the stadium had been completed.   For the next 45 years, Scotland remained the only country to play England at Wembley, although the 1926 fixture was staged at Old Trafford.   With no contract to bind them to “The British Empire Exhibition Stadium”, as it was described on the front of the match programme, England preferred to stage their internationals at club grounds, except when Wembley’s capacity was needed to accommodate the Scots.

            England finished the Home International championship of 1923/24 in last place, having been defeated by Ireland and Wales.    Scotland fared little better, in second place behind champions Wales, but they had the better of the first Wembley international.   Raith Rovers’ David Morris kept Charlie Buchan, belatedly restored to the England team, quiet throughout the match, while veteran winger Alan Morton was the best winger afield.  The unlikely full back combination from Ayr United, McCloy and Smith, distinguished themselves with solid performances.

           Moss and Barton were the pick of the home inside men, and Wadsworth had a good game at full back, although his mistake let in Cowan for Scotland’s goal.   Star inside right David Jack, scorer of Wembley’s first goal a year before in the FA Cup Final, played well below par.


The teams were:


England : Taylor (Huddersfield Town), Smart (Aston Villa), Wadsworth (Huddersfield Town), Moss (Aston Villa), Spencer (Newcastle United), Barton (Birmingham), Butler, Jack (Bolton Wanderers), Buchan (Sunderland), Walker (Aston Villa), Tunstall (Sheffield United)

Scotland : Harper (Hibernian), Smith, McCloy (Ayr United), Clunas (Sunderland), Morris (Raith Rovers), McMullan (Partick Thistle), Archibald (Rangers), Cowan, Harris (Newcastle), Cunningham, Morton (Rangers)

Referee : T. Dougray (Bellshill)


The 24 large page programme was totally different in style and design from the small, pocket-sized booklet of the previous year’s Cup Final.    A four colour card cover carried an advert for Peek Frean biscuits on the back ; the inside front page was blank and inside back page carried a full page advert for the Royal Tournament at Olympia.

           Page 3 was an illustrated frontispiece which gave the match details, and there was a full page portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales (later to be Duke of Windsor), President of the British Empire Exhibition.   A two page “History of the International Game” was followed by photographs of the Presidents and Secretaries of the respective associations.   

           Each team was described over four pages, two of pen pictures, and two of head and shoulder photos.   Previous fixtures between the countries were listed, as was the “Programme of Music”, courtesy of the Irish Guards.    A one page article on the British Empire Exhibition was followed by three sketches of pavilions at Wembley Park.

           As always with old programmes, the advertisements were fascinating.   Gibbs Cold Cream Shaving Soap (on sale in all the lavatories at the stadium), Sanitas Embrocation (endorsed by Alex Raisbeck), Sunripe tobacco and cigarettes, and The Daily Chronicle all feature prominently, as does the sole survivor – The Daily Mirror.

           This was undoubtedly a handsome production for its day, and extremely expensive at 1/-, at a time when the very best of League club programmes cost no more than 3d.  


Programme of the Day – 11th April


On this day in 1970, Chelsea and Leeds United drew 2-2 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.


In many respects this was the worst possible result for a Leeds United team in pursuit of a League, Cup and European Cup treble.     With vital League matches to play and a European Cup semi final first leg deficit to overcome against Celtic, the Yorkshiremen did not want the distraction of a Cup Final replay, the first required since Wembley was opened in 1923.

            The stamina-sapping Wembley surface did not help Leeds either.  Controversially, the Horse of the Year Show had pounded the sacred turf into a morass a couple of weeks before the Cup Final, and the sand-strewn surface was not conducive to silky football.

           That was of little concern to Eddie Gray, the sublimely talented Leeds winger, who created all sorts of problems for Chelsea, and full back David Webb in particular.    It was from Gray’s corner that Jack Charlton headed Leeds into the lead in 21 minutes, and it was against the run of first half play when Chelsea equalised three minutes before the interval, Gary Sprake making a hash of a routine shot from Peter Houseman.

            As the second half wore on, Leeds’ midfield inventiveness was less in evidence, and Chelsea’s long-balls upfield to Osgood and Hutchinson were beginning to un-nerve the United defence.   However it was Leeds who scored next, Jones pouncing on a Clarke header which came back off the post.     Chelsea’s tactics paid off just two minutes later when Hutchinson headed Chelsea’s second equaliser from a Hollins cross.    Extra time brought only tired limbs.

           A season which promised so much for Leeds ended in crushing disappointment.   Celtic beat them to reach the European Cup Final, Everton surpassed them in the League and Chelsea won a bruising Cup Final replay, 2-1 at Old Trafford.


The teams were:

Chelsea : Bonetti, Webb, McCreadie, Hollins, Dempsey, Harris (sub Hinton), Baldwin, Houseman, Osgood, Hutchinson, Cooke

Leeds : Sprake, Madeley, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Clarke, Jones, Giles, Gray

Referee – E. Jennings, Stourbridge   Attendance 100,000 Receipts £128,272


A more modern FA Cup final programme was beginning to emerge by 1970, and the 24 page issue contained the novelty of full colour photographs, although the cover price, 2/- (10p) was twice the price of the most expensive League club programmes.

           Page three included a full colour photo of Princes Margaret, followed by a double page spread in which leading sportswriters, all of them pictured, predicted the result.  Only one (Graham Taylor of the Sporting Life) correctly predicted a draw.  Albert Sewell wrote about Chelsea’s long and hitherto unsuccessful quest for the cup, opposite a full colour team group.  Their pen pictures shared a double page spread with action from the semi final against Watford.   Timetable and Programme of Music filled a page, and the teams were listed, in columnar form, across the centre pages, with summary details of how the clubs reached the final.

            A page of Cup Chatter came from the pen of Jack Rollin, then Leeds’ pen pictures were opposite a full colour team group.    The readable content concluded with an article on Leeds’ quest to win the hat-trick of Cup, Championship and European Cup, and colour coverage of their semi final.   Presentation was much improved with the introduction of gloss paper and full colour photographs, and the features were more imaginative – but the programme has a brief and inadequate look to modern eyes.

            Advertisements were from the Radio Times, as usual on the inside front page, Player’s No.6 Cigarettes, Ford’s World Cup Guide, Castella cigars, Hird-Brown of Bolton, manufacturers of illuminated scoreboards, a couple for football souvenirs, Double Diamond beer on the inside back page and, as ever, Bovril on the back page.



Programme of the Day – 10th April


On this day in 1970, Manchester United beatWatford 2-0 at Highbury in the first ever third placed play off match between the beaten FA Cup semi finalists.


A play off between the beaten semi finalists to determine who comes third and fourth is usually found only in the World Cup Finals, European Championships and (where bronze medals are at stake) in the Olympic Games football tournament.   In 1970, it was decided to introduce this match to the FA Cup.

            There was curious logic to the establishment of this fixture ; who cared who finished third ?   The obvious reason was that the traditional Friday-night-match-before-the-Cup Final, England v Young England, usually staged at either Highbury or Stamford Bridge, was being squeezed out of an increasingly congested fixture schedule, and something was needed to replace it, from the FA Council’s perspective at least.

           The first of five of these fixtures took place at Highbury on 10th April 1970.   Manchester United beat Watford 2-0, in front of 15,000, with Brian Kidd scoring both goals.   The attendance was an improvement on the diminishing number of spectators who had latterly turned out for the Full team v Under 23 matches, minus of course those players on duty at Wembley the following afternoon.

           This wasn’t the case the following season, when just 5,031 turned up at Selhurst Park for a match between Stoke City and Everton.  The choice of venue was questionable, but at least the scattering of fans was entertained by a high scoring match.   Alan Whittle and Alan Ball gave Everton a 2-1 half time lead, but Stoke fought back to win 3-2, John Ritchie scoring twice and Mike Bernard the other.

            It appeared that no one had the stomach to ask Birmingham City andStoke City to play at a London club ground the night before the 1972 Cup Final, so the match was played at the start of the following season, on 5th August 1972, at the spectator-friendly venue of The Hawthorns.    This match had the distinction of being the first ever FA Cup tie to be decided on penalties, Birmingham beating Stoke 4-3 after a scoreless 90 minutes.

           The original concept of the fixture was being lost in the mists of time when Arsenal and Wolves met in the 1973 match.  This, too, was held at the start of the following season, and the choice of venue was decided by the same expedient as determined the venue for the FA Charity Shield – a toss of the coin.  Arsenal won the toss, but lost 3-1 at Highbury on August 18th 1983.  Brendan Hornsby scored for the Gunners, but Jim McCalliog and two for Derek Dougan won the match for Wolves.

           The fifth and final Third place play off was at least played in the week of the 1974 FA Cup Final, albeit five days afterwards.  Leicester City won the choice of venue, but Burnley beat them 1-0 at Filbert Street with a goal by Ray Hankin.   The crowd of 4,000 finally consigned this fixture to the dustbin of history.



Programme of the Day – 8th April


On this day in 1990, Crystal Palace beat Liverpool 4-3 in an FA Cup semi final at Villa Park.


The journeymen professionals of Crystal Palace had the perfect game-plan to bring down league leaders and champions-elect Liverpool – they got stuck in.   In a pulsating cup-tie, the lead changed hands three times, but it was the mid-table team who prevailed, gaining sweet revenge for a 9-0 drubbing suffered at Anfield the previous September.

That scoreline must have loomed over the Palace side when Ian Rush put Liverpool ahead after 14 minutes, his 23rd goal of the season coming from a Steve McMahon through pass.     The Anfield marksman left the field with a rib injury quarter of an hour later.

            There was no hint of the drama to come at the close of the first half, but Palace signified their intention seconds into the second half, Pemberton’s cross being deflected into the path of Mark Bright whose shot eluded McMahon’s attempted clearance.

Goalscorer then turned provider, knocking down a Gray free kick to Gary O’Reilly who put Palace ahead.  McMahon restored parity when he shot home from Venison’s centre in 81 minutes, and Liverpool looked to have the match won two minutes later when John Barnes converted a penalty.

Palace dug deep to equalise when Andy Gray headed home in 87 minutes, and his free kick crashed back off the bar two minutes later, to take the game into extra time.   They were not fazed by ill-fortune, however, and their unlikely match winner was Alan Pardew, a £7,000 signing from Yeovil Town, who headed a Thorn flick-on for a deserved winner.


The teams were:


Crystal Palace – Martyn ; Pemberton, Shaw, Gray, O’Reilly, Thorn, Barber, Thomas, Bright, Salako, Pardew.   Subs not used – Madden, Hedman

Liverpool – Grobbelaar, Hysen, Burrows, Gillespie (sub Venison), Whelan, Hansen, Beardsley, Houghton, Rush (sub Staunton 29), Barnes, McMahon.


Referee – George Courtney, Spennymoor.   Attendance –  38,389


The host club was responsible for producing FA Cup semi final programmes, and the splendid thirty-two page full colour issue was up to the normal high standards of Aston Villa programmes.  

A welcome to Villa Park on page 3 introduced nine pages on Palace, including a page profile on manager Steve Coppell, and a feature on goalkeeper Nigel Martyn.   A two page spread on memorable matches between the clubs completed the first half, with both clubs statistics on the centre fold.

Liverpool, their Manager Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes received the same treatment in the second half, along with a page on ground safety, and another page on replay arrangements.    A colour action photo from a previous game between the clubs accompanied the team lines on the back page.

Adverts included the respective club sponsors, Virgin Atlantic and Candy, Rumbelows, Mita Copiers (Villa’s sponsors), Arrow boots, featuring full colour photos of Mark Bright and David Burrows, and Clubcall for the respective clubs.    The beautifully produced, colourfully presented issue was of the highest standard of its time.    



Programme of the Day – 7th April


On this day in 1982, Aston Villa beat Anderlecht 1-0 in the first leg of the European Cup semi final at Villa Park.


Aston Villa has enjoyed a long and extremely distinguished history, winning League Championships and domestic cups, although most of them were gathered around a century ago.  In 1981 they won their first League Championship for 71 years, and thus qualified for the following season’s European Cup, which, in turn, they won.  Birmingham’s finest were therefore Champions of Europe, a distinction which seems as distant as the 19th century achievements to their long suffering supporters today.

            The team built by Ron Saunders and sustained by his successor, Tony Barton, was packed with internationalists, but most importantly in their championship season, it was a settled side with few changes.  No less than seven players were ever-presents ; Jimmy Rimmer in goal, full back Kenny Swain, centre half Ken McNaught, skipper and midfielder Denis Mortimer, Des Bremner, Gordon Cowans and winger Tony Morley.  Not far behind them in appearances were forwards Peter Witeh and Gary Shaw, full back Colin Gibson and centre half Allan Evans.  

Only 14 players were used in 42 League matches, and while the season ended in defeat at Arsenal, it was only the eighth of the entire campaign, runners up Ipswich Town losing their second last match on the same day to make Villa’s lead unassailable.

The same squad of players remained for the assault on Europe the following season, although League form suffered and Villa finished 11th.  Valur Reykjavik were beaten home and away in the first round of the-then knock-out European Cup ; Dynamo Berlin of East Germany were overcome on away goals in the second round, and a 0-0 draw in the Ukraine meant that Villa’s 2-0 home win over USSR champions Dynamo Kiev saw the club into the semi finals, where a Tony Morley goal was the only one over two legs against Anderlecht.

The mighty Bayern Munich awaited in the final in Vienna, but a Peter Withe goal was the only score on the night, and Villa protected young substitute goalkeeper Nigel Spink, on for the injured Jimmy Rimmer after only 8 minutes, to capture their first, and so far only, European trophy.

Villa have a long and cherished reputation for producing excellent matchday programmes, and their issue in 1981/82 was no exception.  For their European ties, the cover design was changed to feature a full colour, full page photograph of the European Cup.  The inside pages were stripped of all advertising, and most of the features were dedicated to the European campaign.

There were extensive articles on the history of the visitors, and their current squad of players, with a couple of pages devoted to Villa’s matches in the previous round.    The only “normal” articles carried over from domestic issues were a couple of pages of club news, entitled “Sidelines”, a Focus article and full page photo on one of the Villa staff members, a page of potted biographies entitled “They Played For Villa”, which took an alphabetic look at Villa players from the past, two pages of stats, and a page of junior and adult supporters club notes.

The 1981/82 version of “The Villa News & Record” was ahead of its time in the use of glossy paper and full colour printing, but half of the pages were printed in black with one spot colour.  It may look dated to the modern eye, but so is the price – just 50p.





English Programme of the Day – 6th April


On this day in 1963, Everton drew 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park.


The result left Everton in third position in the First Division, three points behind joint leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.   The bottom four in the Division were Manchester United, Birmingham City,Manchester City and Leyton Orient.


Everton finished the season strongly and won the League by six points from Spurs.  Blackburn finished a very respectable 11th in the 22 club top division.


The teams were:


Everton: Gordon West; Alex Parker and George Thomson; Jimmy Gabriel, Brian Labone and Tony Kay; Alex Scott, Dennis Stevens, Alex Young, Roy Vernon and Johnny Morrissey


Blackburn Rovers: Fred Else; John Bray and Keith Newton; Ronnie Clayton, Maurice Woods and Mike England; Mike Ferguson, Andy McEvoy, Fred Pickering, John Byrom and Mike Harrison


Referee was Mr J.E. Carr of Sheffield


Everton issued their standard 16 page programme, slightly larger than A5, printed internally in black on white semi gloss paper.  “Evertonia” started on page three and meandered through the programme, interrupted by fixtures, results, statistics, league tables, centre fold teams and lots of advertisements



Programme of the Day - 5th April


On this day in 1962, Tottenham Hotspur beat Benfica 2-1 in the second leg of the European Cup semi final at White Hart Lane, watched by 65,000.


Those were the Glory Glory Days for Spurs, with the first League and Cup double of the 20th Century, followed by another FA Cup win and Britain’s first European Trophy, in the shape of the Cup Winners Cup.  However, they finally met their match at the penultimate stage of the European Cup.

Benfica were holders of the trophy, and went on to retain it by beating Real Madrid in the Final.   They showed their class in beating Spurs 3-1 in Lisbon, but such was the potency of the Spurs team that they harboured realistic expectations of overturning that scoreline at White Hart Lane.

It took just 15 minutes to demolish that hope.   Aguas netted to give the Portuguese an unassailable 4-1 lead.   Spurs did not go down without a fight, however, and two goals immediately after the interval, from Bobby Smith and a Danny Blanchflower penalty, gave Spurs 40 minutes to lay siege to the Benfica goal.

The woodwork was rattled three times in the second half, with Dave Mackay smacking the crossbar in the last minute, but the ball refused to enter the Benfica net, and Spurs inexorable upward path came to its end.   A sobering thought for Spurs fans is that this was the club’s last match in the European Cup.


The teams were:


Tottenham Hotspur: Bill Brown ; Peter Baker, Ron Henry ; Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman, Dave Mackay ; Terry Medwin, John White, Bobby Smith, Jimmy Greaves, Cliff Jones


Benfica; Albertoi Pereira ; Mario Joao, Gaspar Angelo ; Domiciano Cavem, De Figueiredo Germano, Fernando Cruz ; Jose Augusto, Ferreira Eusabio, Jose Aguas, Mario Coluna, Antonio Simoes


Referee – A. Poulsen (Denmark)   


Spurs expanded their rudimentary League and Cup programme for European ties, and the 20 page A5 sized programme sported full colour on the club crests which adorned the front cover.

A welcome to the visitors in Portuguese came from the Spurs chairman, opposite the equivalent in English.    There was a full page team group of Benfica, and a History of the club ; three pages of pen pictures were accompanied by head and shoulder photographs, and the first half of the programme concluded with a photo of the captains exchanging pennants before the first leg.

The teams were displayed, in 2-3-5 formation, on a light blue background on the centre pages, and a Spurs team group, taken before the first leg, was followed by three pages of Spurs pen pictures with head and shoulder photos.   An article on the European Cup included a list of previous finals, and both teams’ progress to the semi final.

There were three more photographs from Spurs’ visit to Lisbon, and the back page sported an illustration of the trophy.     Printed black on white glossy paper, with one or two dashes of light blue background, the programme was completely advert free and was good value at 6d. 



Programme of the Day – April 4th


On this day in 1970,Enfield beat Dagenham 5-1 in the FA Amateur Cup Final at Wembley, watched by 33,000


The goals were scored by John Connell (with two), Peter Feely, Joe Adams and a John Daniels own goal.  George Brooks scored for Dagenham.


This was the fifth last staging of a competition which started in 1894.  The distinction between amateurism and professionalism was abolished by the Football Association in 1974, and the former amateur clubs would thereafter compete in either the FA Vase or the FA Trophy.


A feature of this old programme is that neither club entity is still in existence, although they live on in Enfield Town and Enfield 1893, and the much-amalgamated Dagenham & Redbridge, whose manager, John Still, played for the original club 46 years ago.


The teams were:

Enfield: Ian Wolstenholme; Gordon Clayton and Philip Fry; John Payne, Paddy Betson and Roger Day; Joe Adams, John Connell, Peter Feely (substituted by Alf D’Arcy), Ken Gray and Ray Hill.


Dagenham: Ian Huttley; Doug Robertson (substituted by Vince Scarfe) and George Dudley; John Daniels, John Still and Denis Moore; Peter Leakey, Roy Drake, Martin Smith, Brian Smith and George Brooks.


The referee was D.J. Lyden of Birmingham


Wembley Stadium issued a 16 page B5 sized programme printed internally in black on gloss paper.   Contents included Amateur Cup Facts and Figures on page three, an article, squad photograph, action photograph and pen picture of both teams, centre fold team lists opposite the Timetable and Programme of Music, and several full page advertisements.



Programme of the Day – April 3rd


On this day in 1961, Norwich City beat Sunderland 3-0 in a Second Division fixture at Carrow Road watched by 22,574.


The goals were scored by Brian Whitehouse (with two) and Terry Alcock.   This was the third match in four days for both clubs, over the traditional Easter weekend.  They met at Roker Park on Good Friday when Norwich also won 3-0, Norwich lost 2-0 at home to Derby County the following day and Sunderland beat Scunthorpe 2-0 at home, before the two teams met again in Norwich on Easter Monday.


Relegated from the First Division for the first time in 1958, Sunderland were finding it very difficuly to return. They finished sixth in 1960/61, two positions and two points behind Norwich, who in turn were nine points adrift of the second promoted team, Sheffield United.  Ipswich Town won the Second Division championship by a point.


After cruelly missing out to Chelsea on goal average in 1962/63, Sunderland were finally promoted at the end of the following season.


The teams were:

Norwich City: Sandy Kennon; Bryan Thurlow and Ron Ashman; Scott Dick, Barry Butler and Matt Crowe; George Waites, Brian Whitehouse, Terry Allcock, Jimmy Hill and Bill Punton


Sunderland: Peter Wakeham; Colin Nelson and Cecil Irwin; Stan Anderson, Dick Rooks and Reg Pearce; Harry Hooper, Ambrose Fogarty, Dominic Sharkey, Billy McPheat and John Dillon


Referee was R.J. Leafe of Nottingham.


Unusually, there were four changes to the Sunderland team from that listed in the centre pages of the 16 page A5 size programme, printed internally in black on plain paper – six if you include the misspelling of “Wakenham” and “Pheat”.  Manager Alan Brown, clearly frustrated at two defeats and a draw in the last five games, brought in teenager Nick Sharkey, Irwin, Rooks and Pearce.   Results did not improve, however.   There were three changes in the Norwich team.


Contents included Club Notes on page three, a pen picture and photo of Derrick Lythgoe, a feature on the visitors, results and fixtures, league table, half time scoreboard and list of appearances and goalscorers for first and reserve teams.  Others, it was advertisements all the way.



Programme of the Day – April 2nd


On this day in 1957, the selected teams from the Third Divisions North and South played their annual match, on this occasion at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park.


These games were staged between 1955 and 1959, before the regionalised Leagues were abolished in favour of Divisions Three and Four.  The first three fixtures, staged at Reading, Accrington and Coventry, were played at grounds which no longer exist.    The last three were staged at grounds which remain in use to this day.

            One of them, Stockport County’s Edgeley Park, is currently staging non-league football, but on 2nd April 1957, it hosted the North v South match.   County issued their standard programme of the time, a large 8 pager printed in black and white.   The bulk of the text, which was shoe-horned between the heavy local advertising, was devoted to pen pictures of the respective teams.

           The North gave further selections to Scunthorpe United’s legendary left back Jack Brownsword, and former England internationalist Ivan Broadis.   Nationality was no barrier to selection – Carlisle United’s South African Alf Ackerman was at centre forward.

           The South drew their players from Northampton, Millwall, Colchester, Brighton, Southampton, Ipswich, QPR, Torquay, Plymouth, Ipswich and Bournemouth, a diplomatic one per club for the eleven selected, plus two reserves (from Brentford and Reading).

           Crystal Palace hosted the 1957/58 match, played in October, and they issued a special edition of their small, pocket-sized programme.  The card cover was radically changed to a bright yellow background, and most of the usual adverts were stripped from the 16 internal pages. 

            Players were identified by the forenames and clubs in the team lists across the centre fold.   Ron Springett (QPR) was in goal for the South, and he had Roy McCrohan of Norwich City and Alf Sherwood of Newport County as his full backs.  Ivor Broadis was once again in the North’s forward line, which was led by George Stewart of Accrington Stanley.   Jack Bertolini of Workington was at right half.

           The last match in this short series was played on 18th March 1958 at Brunton Park, Carlisle, where United issued a standard 8 page programme, printed in black and white with the odd splash of blue.  Ivor Broadis played again, partnering his club-mate Alf Ackerman in attack, and Jack Brownsword of Scunthorpe United was restored to the North’s side.     The South included Tony Ingham of QPR, Ray Yeoman of Northampton, Ken Coote of Brentford, Brian Harris of Newport County and Dave Sexton of Brighton.

           The matches were popular enough ; none attracted less than 10,000, and there were 14,500 at Coventry in October 1956,.  They gave lower division players some recognition for their efforts outside the spotlight of national publicity.  Their successors had to wait more than three decades before the PFA introduced “teams of the season” from all four divisions, once again providing recognition for lower division players, this time without them having to get their boots dirty.



Programme of the Day – 1st April


On this day in 1970, Leeds United lost 1-0 at home to Celtic in the first leg of the semi final of the European Cup.


The “Battle of Britain” match between the dominant clubs in England and Scotland was much anticipated, and did not disappoint.  Celtic won a hard-fought game by a George Connelly goal, watched by 45,505 at Elland Road.


The teams were:

Leeds United: Gary Sprake; Paul Reaney and Terry Cooper; Billy Bremner (substituted by Mick Bates), Jack Charlton and Paul Madeley; Peter Lorimer, Allan Clarke, Mick Jones, Johnny Giles and Eddie Gray


Celtic: Evan Williams; David Hay and Tommy Gemmell; Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill and Jim Brogan; Jimmy Johnstone, George Connelly (substituted by John Hughes), Willie Wallace, Bobby Lennox and Bertie Auld.


More than 134,000 crammed into Hampden for the second leg a fortnight later, which Celtic won 2-1, but they were beaten by Feyenoord in the Final in Milan.


Leeds missed out on all three trophy targets;  runners up to Everton in the League, beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup Final replay; and at the penultimate stage of the European Cup.


Celtic, too, lost their domestic Cup Final, to Aberdeen, but won their League Championship


For European matches, Leeds issued their normal 20 page League match programme, with a different – if rather dull cover.  Printed in black on white gloss paper, the page 3 editorial was headlined: “Here It Is At Last – The Highest Ranking Match Ever Played Here.”    A Celtic team group, history of the visitors, and two pages of pen pictures accompanied some domestic news and a page of fixtures and results in a programme that was dominated by small advertisements.



Programme of the Day - 31st March


On this day in 1965, Northern Ireland lost 5-0 to Wales in a Home International match at Windsor Park,Belfast, watched by 15,000.


Roy Vernon scored twice, Cliff Jones, Graham Williams and Ivor Allchurch once each as Wales won for the second time in that season’s Championship, having beaten Scotland 3-2 in Cardiff in October.   They lost 2-1 at Wembley in November, and England clinched the Home title with a 2-2 draw at home to Scotland a fortnight after Wales’ demolition of the Irish.


The teams were:

Northern Ireland: Bobbyne (Stoke City); John Parke (Sunderland) and Alex Elder (Burnley); Martin Harvey (Sunderland), captain Terry Neill (Arsenal) and Jimmy Nicholson (Huddersfield Town); Billy Humphries (Swansea Town), Johnny Crossan (Manchester City), Willie Irvine (Burnley), Jimmy McLaughlin (Swansea) and Dave Clements (Coventry City)


Wales: Dave Hollins (Newcastle United); Peter Rodrigues (Leicester City) and Graham Williams (West Brom); Cyril Lea (Ipswich Town), captain Mike England (Blackburn Rovers) and Barrie Hole (Cardiff City); Cliff Jones (Tottenham Hotspur), Auvor llchurch (Cardiff), Wyn Davies (Bolton Wanderers), Roy Vernon (Stoke) and Ronnie Rees (Coventry)


There were as many Welsh-based players (two, from Swansea Town) in the Irish team as there were in the visiting side (two, from Cardiff City)


Referee was Ken Dagnall of Bolton


The programme comprised 8 large page, printed in red and black on white semi gloss paper – greatly slimmed down from the bulky Irish international issues of a decade before.


There was a welcome from Harry Cavan, President of the Irish FA on page two, alongside head and shoulder photos of the Irish team.  Opposite were pen pictures.


The centre fold had teams in 2-3-5 formation on a pitch grid surrounded by adverts, followed by pen pictures of the Welsh team, opposite a list of past results going back to 1882.  There were small adverts on most pages, and one for Ireland’s Saturday Night newspaper on the back page.



Programme of the Day – 30th March


On this day in 1974, Queen’s Park Rangers drew 0-0 with Derby County in a First Division match at Loftus Road, watched by 19,795.   Rangers remained in fifth place, although they fell back to eighth by the season’s end.  Derby remained in third place, where they finished the season.


The teams were:

QPR: Phil Parkes; Dave Clement and Ian Gillard; Terry Venables (substituted by Martyn Busby), Terry Mancini and Frank McLintock; Dave Thomas, Gerry Francis, Mick Leach, Stan Bowles and Don Givens


Derby:  Colin Boulton; Ron Webster and David Nish; Bruce Rioch, Peter Daniel and Colin Todd; Steve Powell, Archie Gemmill, Roger Davies, Kevin Hector and Jeff Bourne.


Referee was W. J. Gow of Swansea


The front cover of the 20 page, A5 sized match programme announced a “Colour Souvenir”, which comprised two full page action photographs.   Otherwise, it was black print internally on white gloss paper.


Rangers’ programme was one of the best in the country at the time, with attractive presentation and imaginitive content, including Michael Wale’s opinion piece, visitors’ coverage by Tony Pullein, Derek Buxton’s statistical analysis, centre fold pen pictures of the visitors surrounding a squad photograph, recent match reports, comprehensive statistics, further match photographs in black and white, Supporters Club Notes, a letters page and back page team lines in uncharacteristically old-fashioned 2-3-5 formation.



Programme of the Day – 29th March


On this day in 1995, two non-league clubs met in a Northern Premier League match, nearly 34 years since their last meeting in the Football League.


Accrington Stanley, the home club in the midweek Unibond League Premier Division match in 1995, resigned from the Fourth Division of the Football League in early March 1962, and their record from that season was expunged.


The visitors, Barrow, had only ten years left as a League club.   They were voted out of the Fourth Division – despite finishing above Stockport County and Crewe Alexandra at the end of 1971/72.


Stanley reformed in  1963, folded again in 1966 and started up once more in 1968 when they began the very slow journey back to League football, which they attained in by winning the Conference in 2006.


In 1995, the Crown Ground club produced a very impressive 32 page programme, properly printed in black on white gloss paper.   Only the outer four pages were in full colour, with match details overprinted on the front page, and team lines on the back page.


The squad lists were:


Accrington Stanley: Robert Mulloy, Chris Grimshaw and Les Thompson; Shaun Bursnell, Graham Sanders and Andy Clarkson; Paul Rushby, Lee Rogerson, Hohn McNallt, Brian Welch and Mark Robinson.   Substitutes were Paul Beck, Ashley Hoskin and goalkeeper Rob Holcroft.


Barrow: Andy Johnstone; Mark Jackson and Barrie Stimpson; Ollie Parillon, Alan Kennedy and Alan MacDonald; Eddie Kennedy, Ian Horrigan, Mark Dobie, Andy Whittaker and Wayne Maddock.   Substitutes were Chris Speak, Mike Brown and goalkeeper Darren Hoyland.


Referee was Mr K.E. Williams of Preston.


Contents included a brief word from the manager Stan Allan, history and pen pictures of the visitors, a Unibond League round up, a profile of Barrow defender Alan Kennedy, formerly of Liverpool and England, centre fold statistics, recent and historic match reports, match action photographs from the club’s centenary match at Blackburn the previous Wednesday, and a couple of articles on non league football.  Commercial news mixed with the local adverts.


Programme of the Day – 23rd March


On this day in 1974, Charlton Athletic beat Cambridge United 2-0 in a Third Division fixture at The Valley.


Horsfield and Powell scored the goals, but Charlton remained in mid-table in the Third Division, in 12th place.   They fell as low as 19th, but victories in the last two matches of the season took them up to 14th in the second lowest division.


Cambridge, in their fourth season in the Football League, remained fourth bottom, where they remained for the remainder of the season and thus returned to the Fourth Division after the briefest of visits to the Third.


It was a far cry from the days when tens of thousands packed into The Valley to see First Division football.  The attendance against Cambridge was just 3,402, in a ground which once held 75,031.


Charlton: John Dunn; Bob Curtis and Ray Tumbridge; Peter Hunt, Robert Goldthorpe and Peter Reeves; Colin Powell, Mike Flanagan, Arthur Horsfield, Phil Warman (substituted by Eamonn Dunphy) and Keith Peacock.


Cambridge United: Peter Vasper; John O’Donnell and Vic Akers; Alan Guild, Terry Eades and Graham Rathbone; Mike Ferguson, Brendan Batson, Graham Watson, Bobby Shinton and Nigel Cassidy (substituted by Bobby Ross)


Referee was Walter Johnson of Kendal.


The programme comprised 12 A5 pages, printed in black on gloss paper.    There were two pages of club notes, including “Talking Points with [manager] Theo Foley”, a full page profile of Derek Hales, coverage of the youth teams, two action photographs from a recent home match and two pages of statistics.



Programme of the Day – 22nd March


On this day in 1958, Bolton Wanderers beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 in an FA Cup semi final at Maine Road, Manchester.   Bolton beat Manchester United 2-0 in the Final.


One notable aspect of the rivalry between City and United in Manchester is the absence of territorial identity.   Both clubs' programmes, in the days when they were filled with local produce and producers, had advertisers from all around the city.   In the Manchester City issue for the all-Lancashire 1958 FA Cup semi final between Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, for instance, there was a full page advert, on the inside back page, for Red Rose Stout, which was brewed by Groves & Whitnall Ltd in Regent Road, Salford.

           The company was formed by William Peer Grimble Groves, his eldest son, William, and his son's friend, Arthur William Whitnall, as recalled by Anthony Biggs in an article in the Autumn 2009 edition of MerseyAle, the magazine for the Liverpool and District branch of CAMRA.   The Regent Road Brewery in Salford was purchased for £9000 in 1868 from Messrs Bath and Newbold in 1868.   In an effort to ensure that the Brewery produced only the finest beer in Manchester and Salford district, Arthur Whitnall set himself the task of personally tasting every beer from every brewery in the area. Some task this must have been as there were no less than 80 breweries in operation. Somehow or other he managed to select the brews of Beaumont and Heathcote based in Chorlton on Medlock, and consequently invited and convinced the brewer, a Mr Hill to join Groves and Whitnall in 1875.  

 By 1888, they were supplying 48 licensed outlets and within ten years there were 309 freehold and long leasehold houses, and 282 on short leases.  As a sideline, a decision was made in 1885, for the Brewery to enter the mineral water business, and the subsidiary company Leigh and Company was formed. The company  chose to use coloured, mainly amber, glass bottles which although more expensive than clear, or even brown bottles, added to the idea that if the beer was the best then the glass containing it should also be the best.

           In 1899 they acquired the Manchester Alexandra Brewery of James Cronshaw, but success for the firm was curtailed for a while with the outbreak of World War One, because most of the brewery's fleet of vehicle were commandeered by the Government.

           There was an even greater setback during World War Two when the Brewery Offices received a direct hit from German bombers during the Manchester Blitz.   After the War Brewery life returned to normal and the Brewery acquired a few lesser breweries. It was about this time when the company chose to use the Red Rose as it's trade mark and the re n o w n e d Red Rose Stout came into production. The Brew ery looked all set to celebrate it's centenary as an independent

B re w e r y, when in 1961, Gre e n a l l Whitley added the Brewery to it's ever increasing portfolio, and the Groves and Whitnall name ceased to exist.

           Greenall's continued to brew at the Regent Road Brewery until March 1972 when it transferred all the brews to its Warrington Wilderspool Brewery.    When Greenalls acquired the Groves and Whitnall Brewery it also acquired the outlets owned by them, and amongst them was a public house with the extraordinary name of "Help the Poor Struggler" situated at 303 Manchester Road in Oldham. Between 1946 and 1954 the licensee was listed as Bradford born Albert Pierrepoint, the public hangman.  The pub served its last pint in 1972, when it became an electrical shop and was later demolished in favour of a ro a d widening scheme.   Red Rose Stout on the other hand, along with Bull's Eye Brown, and many others, continued to be brewed at Wilderspool until Greenall Whitley ceased production in 1991.


Programme of the Day – 21st March


On this day in 1962, “Voorlopig Nederlands elftal”, translated as a Provisional Netherlands Selection, played a team which went under the name of “London Combination” in a game which has been poorly chronicled.


The match was one of a long series which served as trial matches for the Dutch national team, but the choice of opponents in March 1962 is fascinating, not least for the inclusion of a player from Southampton and Gordon Banks and Colin Appleton of Leicester City.


The match is recorded on the internet as having been played two days later (on a Friday) with the London Combination winning 2-0, but that seems unlikely as the players turned out for the club sides the following day.


The teams listed in the programme were:

Netherlands; Pieters Graafland (Feijenoord); Wiersma (PSV), Veldhoen (Feijenoord); Muller (Ajax), Kraay (Feijenoord) and Kreyermaat (Feijenoord); Swart, Prins, H. Groot (all Ajax), Bennaars and Moulijn (both Feyenoord).


London Combination: Gordon Banks (Leicester City), Ken Shellito (Chelsea) and John Bond (West Ham); Terry Neill (Arsenal), Tony Knapp (Southampton) and Colin Appleton (Leicester City); Peter Brabrook (Chelsea), Phil Woosman (West Ham), Barry Bridges (Chelsea), Dennis Edwards (Charlton) and Mark Lazarus (QPR)


A standard 24 page programme, printed red and black on plain white paper, was printed.  “Stadion Nieuws” was a familiar sight at major Dutch matches.  There were several pages of editorial, some with apparently little relevance to the match, such as a page two feature and picture on John Charles, and another featuring Alfredo di Stefano.   Dutch League tables were included, and a list of fixtures and results.   Small adverts were on every page, and there were photographs of eight of the Dutch players listed to appear.



Programme of the Day – 20th March


On this day in 1886, the Gentlemen played the Players in a charity match at Kennington Oval in London


The football authorities had a keen eye for the distinction between amateurs and professionals in the early decades of the organised game of football.    They followed cricket’s example of staging “Gentlemen v Players” matches for charitable purposes, and one such match was staged at The Oval in March 1886.

The South London venue was no stranger to major football matches.  It staged several FA Cup Finals, and according to the match card, the next game to be played there was the forthcoming FA Cup Final between holders Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion.


The teams on the matchcard were:


Gentlemen: Harry A. Swepstone; Arthur M. Walters and Percy M.Walters; Ralph T. Squire, captain Norman C. Bailey and Andrew Amos; George Brann, Fred Dewhurst, Tinsley Lindley, William N. Cobbold and Edward C. Bambridge


Players: Robert Roberts (West Brom); Jimmy R. Ross (Preston NE), captain Fergus Suter (Blackburn Rovers); John Graham (Preston NE), George Shutt (Stoke), David Russell (Preston NE); George Drummond (Preston NE), Jimmy Costley (Blackburn Olympic), Sam Thomson (Preston NE), James Bayliss (West Brom) and John Goodall (Preston NE)


The Referee was Major Marindin, Royal Engineers and President of the Football Association.


A simple match card was sold for 2d, with its main purpose the identification of the players by virtue of the positions they took up on the field of play.   The card was printed by Wright & Co, 41 St Andrew’s Hill, London, E.C., and it is not too fanciful to imagine that such cards were issued for FA Cup Finals around this time.

The “Gentlemen” were given their full initials on the team line, the surprise being that the “Players” did not have their initials following their surnames, as was the practice in cricket.    The fluidity of player movement around amateur clubs is indicated by the lack of team names against the Gentlemen, for whom the famous twins A.M. and P.M. Walters filled the full back positions.

The “Players” came from no further south than West Bromwich.  Most represented were Preston North End and J. Costley of Blackburn Olympic took his place in the forward line.  All but a handful were internationalists, the majority English but the bulk of the Preston contingent were Scots.




Programme of the Day – 19th March


On this day in 1991, Leeds United lost 3-2 to Everton at Elland Road in the first leg of the Northern Final of the Zenith Data Systems Cup.


Mel Sterland and Lee Chapman (with two) scored for Leeds; Peter Beagrie, Robert Warzycha and Mike Milligan for Everton, watched by 13,387


Everton won the second leg at Goodison 3-1, but lost 4-1 to Crystal Palace in the National Final at Wembley.


The competition, for First and Second Division clubs not involved in European competitions, was short-lived and unloved by the public (Wembley was only half-full for the final).  Its imposition on clubs by the Football League arguably contributed to the formation of the breakaway Premier League a few years afterwards.  


The teams were:


Leeds United: John Lukic; Mel Sterland and Mike Whitlow; David Batty, Chris Fairclough and Chris Whyte; captain Gordon Strachan, Bobby Davidson (substituted by Carl Shutt), Lee Chapman, Gary McAllister and And Williams (substituted by Gary Speed)


Everton: Neville Southall; Neil McDonald and John Ebbrell; Kevin Ratcliffe, Dave Watson and Martin Keown; Robert Warzycha (substituted by Pat Nevin), Stuart McCall, Mike Newell (substituted by Tony Cottee), Mike Milligan and Peter Beagrie


Referee was David Allison from Lancaster


Polish internationalist Robert Warzycha – a rare foreign import in those days – had just been signed from Gornik Zabrze and was only mentioned in passing in the programme.


Leeds issued a full 32 page B5 sized match programme, printed in full colour on gloss paper.  Contents included Howard Wilkinson’s “Man at the Top” page, club news, captain’s column, results in the tournament to date, features on Gary Speed and John Pearson, centre fold picture of Andy Williams, statistics and more than a page on the Reserves and Juniors. The teams and other match information were on the back page.



Programme of the Day – 18th March


On this day in 1981,Newport County lost 1-0 to Carl Zeiss Jena in the second leg of the quarter final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Somerton Park


Newport County’s progress to the quarter finals of the Cup Winners Cup captured the imagination of the British public in 1980/81.    Having watched as fellow Football League members Cardiff City, Wrexham and Swansea enjoyed the experience of playing in Europe, thanks to their exploits in the Welsh Cup, Newport must have felt that their turn was long overdue when they qualified for the tournament by beating Shrewsbury Town home and away in the 1979/80 Final.

That Cup success coincided with promotion into the Third Division, where the Ironsides more than held they own, finishing twelfth in 1980/81.   They got off to a “flier” in Europe, beating Northern Ireland’s Crusaders 4-0 at Somerton Park in the first round, and drew 0-0 away.    They also kept the scoresheet blank against FC Haugar of Norway in the next round, and won 6-0 at Somerton.

That allowed the winter to be spent planning for the visit of the altogether tougher proposition of Carl Zeiss Jena from East Germany.   The fairytale continued with a splendid 2-2 draw on the other side of the Iron Curtain, and a marvellous night’s football was in prospect in South Wales for the second leg.

Eighteen thousand packed into the rickety old ground, and millions watched the highlights on television, as both teams slugged it out.   There were near things at both ends, but the tie was settled by the only goal of the game – and the fairytale had no happy ending as it was scored by Kurbjuweit.

Newport had arguably scaled a peak in their history, and could look forward to a few years of success.  Alas, fickle football had a succession of cruel blows to rain on County, and within seven years they had been ejected from the League.   They struggled for a brief spell in Non League football, lost their ground, and are now attempting to climb back as a reconstituted club, playing in another stadium.



Newport County – Plumley, Walden, Relish, Davies, Oakes, Tynan, Vaughan, Lowndes, Gwyther, Elsey, Moore.

Carl Zeiss Jena – Grapenthin, Brauer, Schilling, Burow (sub Krause), Kurbjuweit, Schnuphase, Overman, Sengewald, Beilau, Rabb, Vogel


Referee -  Henning Lund-Sorensen (Denmark)   Attendance – 18,000


For many years Newport County had produced one of the best programmes in the lower divisions, with the emphasis on plenty to read and the imparting of a great deal of information on the club. 

The 24 page, large size programme was along the lines of the usual “Amber Note” from that season, with the addition of some pages for the special occasion.   It was printed black on white non gloss paper, with an amber background to the outer cover, and sold for 30p. 

Len Ashurst welcomed the Visitors, with a couple of paragraphs translated into German, opposite a page of observations on the first leg in Jena by Richard Shepherd.     The visitors were described in two pages of pen pictures, history and photographs, and there were plenty of photographs from the first leg ; in text too, as supporters and officials described their experiences in Jena.

Coverage of West Ham’s campaign in the same trophy (which ended that night in Tbilisi) took the programme to the centre fold, which carried a photo of the Newport squad and officials.    The second half started with “Look Back in Amber” by three-times County manager Bill Lucas. 

Two pages on commercial matters were followed by an article, and photos, on Tommy Tynan.    Two more pages describing and illustrating the first leg took the programme to statistics on the inside back cover, with squad listings on the back page.

For its time, it was a substantial issue, and now forms a fascinating souvenir into the peak of this proud club’s existence.   



Programme of the Day – 17th March


On this day in 1979 Nottingham Forest beat Southampton 3-2 to win the Football League Cup at Wembley.


Gary Birtles scored twice and Tony Woodcock once for Forest, while David Peach and Nick Holmes scored for Saints.


Forest became the first club to retain the trophy, having beaten Liverpool in the final the previous season, and they were to win it twice more in succession in the late 1980s.    Southampton have yet to reach another League Cup Final.



Nottingham Forest: Peter Shilton; Colin Barrett and Frank Clark; captain John McGovern, Larry Lloyd and David Needham; Martin O’Neill, Archie Gemmill, Gary Birtles, Tony Woodcock and John Robertson


Southampton: Terry Gennoe; Ivan Golac and David Peach; Steve Williams, Chris Nicholl and Malcolm Waldron; captain Alan Ball, Phil Boyer, Austin Hayes (substituted by Tony Sealey), Nick Holmes and Terry Curran


Referee was P.G. Reeves of Leicester


Wembley Stadium issued a 32 page, B5 sized programme printed in full colour on gloss paper.  It cost 40p.


Contents included extensive coverage of both clubs, in statistics, photographs, pen pictures and articles.   There were historical statistics on the League Cup competition.


Prominent advertisers included Zetters Pools,Littlewoods Pools, Skol Lager, Player’s No.6 cigarettes, Power football boots, Soccer Films and Embassy cigarettes.



Programme of the Day – 16th March


On this day in 1977, Liverpool beat St Etienne 3-1 in the second leg of the quarter final of the European Cup.


With so many glorious European campaigns, it would be imagined that Liverpool fans would have difficulty in picking out one particular match, but this game has gone down as the most memorable at Anfield in European competition.

Liverpool, UEFA Cup holders, had been beaten 1-0 in France in the first leg by the previous season’s beaten finalists in the European Cup.    Anfield, and the legendary Kop terracing, was packed to capacity on a mist-shrouded night and the stadium erupted when Kevin Keegan lobbed the goalkeeper to level the tie.

This was a game between equals, however, and the crowd were treated to an end-to-end match with both sides committed to attack.   Few could complain when Batheney put St Etienne back in front – with a precious away goal – in 51 minutes, but Alan Kennedy soon equalised.

Liverpool needed a third goal, and it came from “Super Sub.”, David Fairclough, who specialised in coming off the bench to score winning goals. He replaced the injured John Tosack in 72 minutes, and completed a memorable night for everyone in the ground when he collected a pass close to the halfway line, ran at the French defence, swerved past two defenders and beat the goalkeeper with his shot.

The match had everything ; atmosphere, passion, drama, skill, and a successful conclusion for the home team.



Liverpool: Ray Clemence; Phil Neal and Joey Jones; Tommy Smith, Ray Kennedy and captain Emlyn Hughes; Kevin Keegan, Jimmy Case, Steve Heighway, John Toshack (substituted by David Fairclough) and Ian Callaghan

St Etienne:  Yvan Curkovic, Gerard Janvion, Gerard Farison, Alain Merchadier (substituted by Herve Revelli), Christian Lopez, Dominique Bathenay, Dominique Rocheteau, Jean-Michel Larque, Patrick Revelli, Christian Synaeghel, Jaques Santini


Referee -  C.G.R. Corver, Netherlands  Attendance – 55,043


Liverpool’s European programmes were little different from their ordinary League issues throughout the 1970s, indeed “The Anfield Review” was little better than in the days when it included the Football League Review as a supplement.

Printed black and red on white semi gloss paper, the contents were the familiar mixture of club news, photographs and advertisements on most pages.      There was coverage of the visiting team, the first leg in words and pictures and a welcome (only in English) to the visitors.

The second half of the programme could have been a normal League issue.  There was a page on the reserves, two pages of statistics, a page on the Development Association and two pages on the club’s forthcoming fixtures.  There was a photograph from the club’s first ever sponsored match, against Newcastle a couple of weeks earlier.

There were adverts on most pages, from a mixture of national and local advertisers.     It was a very modest, parochial programme, scarcely befitting a club which was about to enter the European Cup semi finals, and then go on to lift the trophy in Rome in May.   



Programme of the Day – 15th March


On this day in 1969,Third Division Swindon Town shocked the football world by beating Arsenal 3-1 in the Football League Cup Final at Wembley.


Arsenal made their second successive visit to Wembley for a League Cup Final, having been beaten 1-0 in a dour affair by Leeds United the previous season.    This time around, the match was far more memorable, but for the Gunners it had the same outcome, and Third Division Swindon Town celebrated a major upset by beating the London giants.

It was impossible to distinguish the difference in status between the two teams, such was the performance put in by Swindon on the day.    Few could deny their right to the lead when Roger Smart scored in the first half, and they looked to be holding out for a famous, if narrow, victory until near the end of 90 minutes.

For once the resolute Swindon defence slipped up, and Bobby Gould punished them by crashing home a dramatic equaliser.     The majority of the capacity crowd expected Arsenal’s class to tell in extra time, but the opposite happened.   The Gunners seemed to have expended all their energy in chasing the equaliser, and it was Swindon who had the upper hand in the decisive thirty minutes.

Swindon’s star player, young winger Don Rogers, scored in the first half of extra time, and Swindon looked comfortable with their lead re-established.   As Arsenal were committed to a last, desperate push, Rogers picked up a clearance from defence to make a long run on the badly cut-up Wembley turf.    Evading several frantic attempts to stop him, he ran on to shoot past Bob Wilson to seal the victory.

The glory went to Rogers for his two goals, but the real credit for Swindon’s remarkable victory was their resolute defence which laid the foundation of this shock result.   


The teams were:


Swindon Town: Peter Downsborough ; Rod Thomas and John Trollope ; Joe Butler, Frank Burrows and Stan Harland ; Don Heath, Roger Smart, John Smith (replaced by Willie Penman), Peter Noble and Don Rogers


Arsenal:  Bob Wilson ; Peter Storey and Bob McNab ; captain Frank McLintock, Ian Ure, Peter Simpson (substituted by George Graham) ; John Radford, Jon Sammels, David Court, Bobby Gould and George Armstrong


Referee – W. Handley (Cannock)    Attendance – 100,000   (Receipts £104,000)


The A5 size of the match programme was undoubtedly determined by the inclusion of the Football League Review, the official journal of the League and a popular supplement to many League match programmes in the late 60’s and early 70s.    Once again as a consequence of the inclusion of the magazine, the surrounding 16 pages were somewhat brief and disappointing.

The full colour cover was dominated by red, green and yellow, and while there was occasional spot colour on the internal pages, the only other full colour was in the full page team photographs.     Opposite a Radio Times advert, page 3 carried a full page photograph of Princess Margaret.    Albert Sewell wrote a page on Arsenal, headed “’Reds’ Strike for Gold !”, in which he stated that “the Gunners are wearing their lucky Wembley shirts”.  Events were to disprove that superstition..

A page and a half of Arsenal pen pictures were joined by 10 Quiz Questions and details of the match referee.     The first half ended with the Timetable of Events and details of how both clubs reached the final.

Stapled into the centre of the programme was the splendid 24 page Football League Review, which included a number of features on the League Cup Final.   The second half of the programme started with the team lists, followed by an advert for Castella cigars, and a page by Clive King of the Evening Advertiser, Swindon, on his local team.   Their “Double Target” was to follow QPR as League Cup Winners and Third Division Champions.

           As with Arsenal, a page of Swindon pen pictures was opposite the team picture.   The programme ended with a page of “League Cup Highlights”, opposite a full page advert for Double Diamond Burton Pale Ale.   The back page carried an advert for Bovril.  





Programme of the Day – 14th March


On this day in 1970, West Ham United at Ipswich Town drew 0-0 at the Boleyn Ground, watched by 20,930.


The teams finished 18th and 19th respectively in Division One, both comfortably safe from relegation, although the respective managers would have been frustrated that the individual talent in their teams did not achieve more.  Both Ron Greenwood and Bobby Robson would later manage England, the latter having elevated Ipswich into a title-challenging club.


The teams were:


West Ham: Peter Grotier; Billy Bonds and Frank Lampard; John Cushley, Alan Stephenson and captain Bobby Moore; Clyde Best (substituted by Ronnie Boyce), Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Peter Eustace and Bobby Howe.


Ipswich Town: David Best; Tommy Carroll and Colin Harper; Peter Morris, Bill Baxter and Derek Jefferson; Clive Woods, Ian Collard, Trevor Whymark, Mick Mills and Mick Lambert.


Apart from seeing three of England’s World Cup winners from four years earlier, a visitor to the Boleyn Ground in 1970 would enjoy the delightful little 16 page match programme produced by Jack Helliar.


Printed internally in black on white gloss paper, it contained no advertising but was packed with information on the club and its activities.



Programme of the Day – 13th March


On this day in 1974, England Under 23s beat Scotland 2-0 at St James’ Park, Newcastle watched by only 4,511 spectators.


It was the last time the countries would meet on English soil at this age level, after twenty years of meeting every other year.   The final match in Scotland was played later that year, at Pittodrie, and for the next two years the respective nations were engaged in the first ever UEFA Under 23 championship.   In 1976, the age limit was changed to Under 21.


England’s goals were scored by David Mills and Bob Latchford.


The teams were:

England: Alan Stevenson (Burnley); John McDowell (West Ham) (substituted by Alan Sunderland (Wolves)) and Ian Gillard; Gerry Francis (both QPR), Tommy Taylor (West Ham) and Willie Maddren (Middlesbrough); Barry Powell (Wolves), David Mills (Middlesbrough), Bob Latchford (Everton) (substituted by Roger Davies (Derby County)), Steve Perryman (Spurs) and Alan Hudson (Stoke City).


Scotland: Jim Stewart (Kilmarnock) (substituted by Jim Brown (Chesterfield); Willie Miller (Aberdeen) Jimmy Calderwood (Birmingham City) (substituted by Gerry Gow (Bristol City)); Derek Johnstone (Rangers), Iain McDonald (St Johnstone) and Frank Gray (Leeds United); Graeme Souness (Middlesbrough), Alex Bruce (Newcastle) (substituted by Alan Lamb (Preston North End), Jim Pearson (St Johnstone), Tommy Craig (Sheffield Wednesday) and Don Gillies (Bristol City).


Referee was J.D. Williams of Wrexham.


Newcastle United produced a 16 page, A4-sized brochure, printed in black on gloss paper.  The price was 15p


Contents included a “Setting the Scene” article by ubiquitous freelance journalist Tony Pullein; a full page action shot of Norwich City’s Jim Bone and West Ham’s John McDowell in League action; a list of England Under 23 appearances and goalscorers which filled two pages; action photos of three England players, a photo of the East Stand at St James’ Park, pen pictures of both teams in the centre fold, a two page article on Under 23 football by “a Special Correspondent”; a list of Scotland Under 23 caps, a full page photo of West Ham’s Tommy Taylor (his second in the programme) and a number of smaller features.


Squad lists were on the back page, but “Owing to late changes in the England and Scotland squads, [an] up-to-the minute Team sheet [was] included free of charge.”   It was printed in green on plain white paper.


Such attention to detail, and such an impressive programme, deserved a bigger crowd.




Programme of the Day – March 12th


On this day in 1969, England beat France 5-0 in a Friendly International at Wembley Stadium watched by 85,000.


Geoff Hurst reprised his feat of three years earlier by scoring a hat-trick, two of them from the penalty spot, and there were singles for Mike O’Grady and Francis Lee.


Without the injured Bobby Charlton, and following two drab draws against Bulgaria andRumania, England re-found their scoring touch against one of the weakest international teams in Europe.    Such was their dominance that the scoreline could have been doubled.


Leeds United’s Terry Cooper made a fine debut at left back, the two wingers Lee and O’Grady were in excellent form, as was captain Bobby Moore.



England: Gordon Banks (Stoke City); Keith Newton (Blackburn Rovers) and Terry Cooper (Leeds United); Alan Mullery (Spurs), Jack Charlton (Leeds) and Bobby Moore (West Ham); Francis Lee, Colin Bell (both Manchester City), Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters (both West Ham) and Mike O’Grady (Leeds United)


France: Georges Carnus (St Etienne); Jean Djorkaeff (Marseille) and captain Bernard Bosquier (St Etienne); Roger Lemerre (Sedan), Jean-Paul Rostagni (Monaco) and Henri Michel (Nantes); Joseph Bonnel (Marseille), Jacques Simon (Bordeaux), Herbert (not listed in the match programme), Charly Loubet (Nice) and Georges Bereta (St Etienne)


Referee was Istvan Zsolt of Hungary


Wembley Stadium Ltd issued a 16 page, B5 sized programme printed internally in black on white gloss paper.  It was expensive at 2/- (10p).


Contents included a page three introduction entitled “View from the Towers”, a full page article from Brian Glanville of the Sunday Times, pen pictures of both squads, captioned photographs of the 1-1 draw with Rumania, match statistics, Timetable and Programme of Music opposite the squad lists in the centre pages; an article on French football, facts and figures and a list of international competitions for clubs and countries



Programme of the Day – March 11th


On this day in 1967, Queen’s Park Rangers drew 0-0 with Peterborough United in a Third Division match at Loftus Road, and issued a special 12 page programme to commemorate their victory in the League Cup Final a week before.  The match was watched by 15,878 spectators.


Unusually for this era, there were two changes in each team from the line-ups in the programme.   It was QPR’s third match in seven days – they had beaten Bournemouth 4-0 at home on the Tuesday evening – and Jimmy Langley and Keith Sanderson were missing from the team which beat West Brom 3-2 the previous Saturday, and won two more League points three days later to keep Rangers five points clear of second placed Bristol Rovers in the Third Division.


By the end of the season, they had stretched that League to 12 points, although the other promoted club was Middlesbrough, thus starting the journey to becoming an established First Division club.


Peterborough finished in mid-table, but were relegated the following season following a 19 point deduction for offering illegal bonuses.


The teams were:

QPR: Peter Springett; Tony Hazel and Keech; Mike Keen, Ron Hunt and Frank Sibley; Mark Lazarus, Ian Morgan, Les Allen, Rodney Marsh and Roger Morgan.

Peterborough: Tony Millington; Peter Thompson and Ian Crawford; Ron Cooper, Brian Wright and Henry Orr; Mason, Johnny Byrne, Mike Beesley, Johnny Kirkham and Johnson.


Referee was R.L. Johnson of Suffolk.


The 12 page programme was in A5 format and printed in black on white gloss paper, with a light blue trim to the front cover.  There were two pages of club news, teams in one of the centre pages below a list of club officials, a full-page, tear-out advert and application form for season tickets and two pages of statistics.



Programme of the Day - March 10th


On this day in 1951, Birmingham City and Blackpool drew 0-0 in a FA Cup semi final at Maine Road, Manchester.


A much neglected, but very rewarding, set of programmes to collect is FA Cup semi finals.    Until the advent of large, glossy, stylised programmes (and in modern times, all matches staged at Wembley), the programmes issued for semi finals were the responsibility of the host clubs.   A set of these is therefore extremely varied, often attractive, and the contrast in appearance and dimensions provide a perfect history of the development of football programmes in the post war era.

           In the years immediately after the Second World War, with paper rationing still in place, the programmes were very brief, small-sized affairs, modestly produced.  Bolton Wanderers met Charlton Athletic at Villa Park in March 1946, and Villa produced an eight page programme, printed black on plain white paper.   The only photograph in this small-sized production was on the front page, and featured The Earl of Athlone, Chairman of the FA.    Two years later, when Blackpool and Tottenham Hotspur met at the same venue, a similar format was used, although the cover photographs on this occasion were footballers, the respective captains Harry Johnston and Ron Burgess.

            Plain black-and-white programmes were also produced for the Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers semi final replay at Goodison Park in 1949, and the 1952 replay at Elland Road between Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.  On both occasions, the smaller-than-A5 paper size was used.

           There was the occasional splash of colour, due to blue ink being used instead of black.   Maine Road was a favourite post-war venue, and for the Birmingham City v Derby County replay in 1946, and Burnley v Liverpool the following year, City produced versions of their normal match programmes, complete with advertisements.   Leeds United also used blue ink for the Charlton Athletic v Newcastle United semi final in 1947, and made the programme much more attractive with a specially commissioned, cartoon cover.

           Sheffield Wednesday introduced a splash of blue to an otherwise black-and-white production when Wolves met Manchester United at Hillsborough in 1949, as they had also done for two visits of Derby County in previous years.   The same cover design was used for both, the FA Cup surrounded by light blue print, but the 1946 programme against Birmingham City was smaller than A5, whereas the 1948 issue against Manchester United was almost B5 in size.

            Blackburn Rovers wrapped a light blue cover, with black and red print, around black and white pages inside when Burnley and Liverpool met at Ewood Park in 1947, the small size once again prevailing.    Unsurprisingly, the largest, and most impressive, semi final programme of this period was issued by Arsenal, for the Portsmouth v Leicester City tie in 1949, the front and back pages being used for a panoramic picture of Highbury, printed in red and dark blue.

            The 1950s saw a bit of an effort put into programmes by the host clubs, and in some cases the absence of the normal, heavy advertising, a one-off cover design, and perhaps the use of better quality paper, meant that the semi final programme was a cut-above the rudimentary issues which passed as programmes at some major league clubs.

            Manchester City issued larger, more impressive programmes, with striking red and blue cover designs, for the Everton v Liverpool semi final in 1950, and the Birmingham City v Blackpool match the following year.    A similar production was issued at the end of the decade, albeit with light blue the only colour added, when Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers visited Moss-side in 1958.

           Other host clubs were not always so enlightened.   Spurs issued their standard large sized, 4 page programme for the Arsenal v Chelsea semi final in 1950, and for the replay between these clubs in 1952.   For the first match in that latter year, however, Spurs pushed the boat out with an eight page version on gloss paper – tripling the price (to 6d) in the process.


Programme of the Day - March 9th


On this day in 1982, Watford beat Queens Park Rangers 4-0 in a Second Division match at Vicarage Road watched by 16,862.


Ernie Howe (a late replacement for Clive Allen) scored an own goal and there were singles for Taylor, Jenkins and Blissett



Watford: Steve Sherwood; Pat Rice and Wilf Rostron; Les Taylor, Steve Terry and Ian Bolton; Nigel Callaghan and Luther Blissett, Ross Jenkins, Jan Lohman and John Barnes.

QPR: Peter Hucker; Warren Neil and Ian Gillard; Gary Waddock, Bob Hazell and Glen Roeder; Tony Currie, Mick Flannigan and Ernie Howe, Simon Stainrod and John Gregory.


Watford went on to gain promotion to the First Division for the first time in their history, eight points behind champions (and local rivals) Luton Town.  QPR finished in fifth position, just two points behind the third promoted club, Norwich City.


Watford issued their standard 20 page, large square sized programme for the Tuesday evening fixture, printed in a mixture of black-and-white, yellow background and full colour on glossy paper. 


Contents included Chairman Elton John advertising a new club sweater on page 3, manager Graham Taylor on page 5, two pages of club news, two pages on the visitors, centrefold of recent match action, two pages of statistics, a double page spread on Watford midfielder Martin Patching and team-lines on half of the back page.   The remainder of the programme comprised advertising.


Programme of the Day – March 8th


On this day in 1975 Scarborough beat Wimbledon 1-0 in the quarter final of the FA Trophy.


Fourth top of the Northern Premier League entertained the Southern League leaders in a match which captured the imagination of football fans in the North Riding.  A post-war record crowd of over 8,000 packing into Seamer Road to see the local team take on a Wimbledon side which had enthralled the nation with its FA Cup exploits that season.

They had beaten Burnley in the third round at Turf Moor, becoming the first non league side in 50 years to win on a First Division ground, then held the mighty Leeds United to a draw at Elland Road in the fourth round.    It took a deflected goal to beat them in the replay.   It was only a matter of time before the ambitious Plough Lane club achieved Football League membership.

Such ambitions seemed beyond Scarborough’s reach, but they showed their potential with a well-merited 1-0 win.  Tony Aveyard scored the goal.  In the semi finals, they had home-and-away 3-1 victories over Bedford Town, although they fell, heavily, in the final to Matlock Town, losing 4-0 before 21,000 spectators.

Scarborough followed Wimbledon into the Football League, although it took until 1987/88, and while the Dons enjoyed a long spell in the First Division, then Premier League – and won the FA Cup – Scarborough’s struggles to become established ended in 1999 when they suffered relegation back to the Conference.


Scarborough: Mike Williams ; Charlie Fountain and Ray Pettit ; Harry Dunn, Sean Marshall and Bobby Todd ; Ken Houghton, Dick Hewitt, Ian Davidson, Jeff Barmby, and Tony Aveyard.   Substitute was Dale

Wimbledon: Dickie Guy, Bob Stockley and Jeff Bryant ; Dave Donaldson, Billy Edwards and Dave Bassett ; Ian Cooke, Glenn Aitken, Roger Connell, Kieran Somers and Mick Mahon.  Substitute David Lucas


The referee was George Courtenay of Durham


Scarborough issued their usual twelve page programme, priced 5p.   The standard cover, with a squad photo, was overprinted with the match details.  Printed black on white gloss paper throughout, there was some spot red on the front cover.

“In My View” by J.W.F. started on page two, below a list of Scarborough officials and honours, and continued on page three.    The next page was filled with small adverts, opposite pen pictures of the Wimbledon squad.  These included Dickie Guy, a goalkeeping character, and Dave Bassett, later to manage the club to great success.

Teams, listed 1 to 12, were in the centre pages, surrounded by small adverts, and the second half of the programme opened with a continuation of the visitors’ pen pictures, this time including top scorer Roger Connell.   Another full page of small adverts took the programme to two pages of comprehensive statistics, which included scorers and attendances of all Scarborough’s first team matches.

The back page contained a Northern Premier League table, details of the next home match, and the small adverts which were included on just about every page of the programme.   This was a typical non-league programme of the era, with plenty of information on the visitors, and disappointingly little on the home team.

That aspect is a shame, because one of the attractions of such issues is looking back to the early days of some notable football careers – in this instance Dave Bassett and referee George Courtney, in particular.  

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