Football programmes

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young & Mawer
Featured in:
December 2017

Football programmes have long been a mainstay of the collectors’ world, with the added benefit of watching your team on the pitch. The programme can be kept as a welcome reminder of an enjoyable day, although some collectors go on to attempt to amass the perfect collection for teams, divisions and memorable matches.

A lifelong collection of football memorabilia collected by a Lincoln collector over sixty-four years was recently sold at auction. The collection of mainly Lincoln City football programmes included one programme from every team that played in the football league. The earliest item in the collection was a Chelsea v Lincoln City programme, from October 1910. The game was played on 29th October at Chelsea’s ground, at the time when Lincoln had gone back to the league and Chelsea were champions. Chelsea won the game 7-0. The programme sold for £150.

Another interesting programme was a 1927 match of the now liquidated club Bradford Park Avenue versus Lincoln City. This programme sold for £150.

Top price of £260 was paid for a group of programmes from the 1947-48 season, which saw Lincoln City winning the Division Three North Championship.

Whilst football programme collectors can sometimes let their hearts rule their heads or wallet, basic rules to selling collections still apply. Condition is important, as are memorable matches, players and seasons. Rarity is also a major factor; you are unlikely to be the only one out of the tens of thousands attending a FA Cup Final to keep the programme. In football programme terms, it is those programmes from reserve team matches or even cancelled matches that can often prove the most elusive for collectors to find.

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