A bag of old programmes is quite literally a treasure trove*

10 02 2013

*Probably more “metaphorically” than “literally” to be honest.

Last week somebody left a bag of programmes with me. This is not an odd situation when you work in a semi-pro club’s shop so I thought nothing more of the gesture. When I opened the bag I was confronted by some wonderful examples of the art of matchday literature production;

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In case you’re wondering the top one is one of the few Zimbru v Bangor City programmes in the UK, the middle one is self-explanatory and the bottom one was football’s way of celebrating the continuation of feudalism. (There’s some footage of the match on Phil’s blog).

The bag also contained a few Man United programmes, a Wrexham programme, several Football League Reviews and a Football Monthly guide to the 1966 World Cup. I’ve said before that comparing programmes from different eras provides a real sense of societal change and these programmes were no different. For example I saw the subtle advertising approach used by the UK’s armed forces in the 60s & ’70s;

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My god for years I’ve thought Private Benjamin’s enrolment in the US Army was an exaggeration!! Mind you the armed forces probably wouldn’t have had much interest with slogans like;  “JOIN THE ARMY AND YOU’LL BE ON THE FRONT LINE AGAINST THE COMMIE NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!” or “JOIN THE ARMY AND SEE BELFAST THROUGH A RIOT SHIELD!!”.

Some of the other adverts were interesting to say the least;

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During the 1970s some Football League Reviews even mentioned Wales and Llandudno!!!

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Ah yes, us Welsh are just like the bloke says we are, we’re all totally honest and full of candour. The articles of the time were fun too, there was the odd forthright opinion…..;

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…..as well as a touch of the period’s charming sexism;

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With the three Manchester United programmes spanning 40 years they obviously highlighted changes. For example we can see how overblown the contemporary approach to selling merchandising is, we went from the quaint colour team photos and tartan ties of the late ’60s & ’70s……

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…….to the ostentatious bling of today;

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There was also a style change in adverts generally. 40 years ago one shop was a programme staple;

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nowadays there’s only room for multi-national bling;

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We can also see how the club’s style of selling has become more fevered as the costs of tickets and travel have risen;

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As we can see again matchday football literature is a treasure trove of social history.

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