The evolution of the modern issue is explored from nineteenth century teamsheets; the first recognisable programmes of the 1900's; early FA Cup Finals; more substantial issues before the Great War; universal League issues in England in the 1920's; Wembley, and the advent of Big Match Programmes; programme issues through the depression; war-time team sheets, finals and representative matches; foreign issues which set new standards after the war; post war penny dreadfuls; isolated excellence in the 1950's; the boring Fifties; mini programmes; some early sixties surprises; London Pride in the early 60's; vastly improved standards after the World Cup; the modernisation of programmes in the 1970's; a brief flirtation with newspapers; insert and supplements; odd shapes and sizes; and finally glorious Technicolor and the modern magazine.
FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES DOWN THE YEARS is available
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Introductory chapter is reproduced below, to give a flavour of the booklet :
Today's newspapers and magazines may use modern colour print and photographic techniques, but they would still be recognisable to a Victorian transported by time-travel to 1998. Similarly with other periodicals, and certainly with books. It is most unlikely, however, that our time-warped visitor would recognise the printed word as sold to him at a football match.
The matchday programme has undergone dramatic change since it first emerged as a means of identifying players in the 1870's. Today, it is a glossy, colourful and sophisticated communications and marketing vehicle, sold in prodigious quantities and for sums far removed from the penny or halfpenny of Victorian days.
In the course of 25 chapters, the development of matchday programmes will be chronicled, and put into the perspective of contemporary life and the game they represent.
Local industries were prominent amongst the advertisements - razor blades in the Sheffield clubs programmes, vehicle and cycle accessory manufacturers in the Birmingham clubs issues, ship-builders advertising for workers on Clydeside. We can watch local economies evolve over the life of a club's matchday programme by reading the adverts.
Trends within the game are, of course, apparent in editorials and features, while great teams, marvellous players, and some unhappy times in the game may be recalled from the playing and managerial personnel listed in the programmes.
If the content of programmes down the years is varied, then so are the formats and styles used by clubs and associations. From the simple teamsheet of Victorian days, listing players and their distinguishing features, to the colourful, glossy booklets of the 1990's - the history of football programmes is as varied and interesting as the game itself, as we will discover over the next 24 chapters.
WHAT ARE FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES, AND HOW HAVE THEY DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS
The development of football programmes over 130 years is described in the 32 page booklet
FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES DOWN THE YEARS.