Most of us who go to watch live football usually buy a match day magazine or programme. Whether we are going to a game at Old Trafford or in the lower reaches of non-league football, buying a programme has become something of a ritual.
Some fans just cast their Football Live score programmes to one side once they get home; others carefully keep them until they have quite a collection. The latter is a football programme collector. The avid collector will keep his programmes in tip top condition. It is as important to him as his replica shirt and his scarf. Others spread the net a bit wider. They start collecting programmes from other clubs and ones from seasons past.
Match day programmes have become big business. Some collectors swap programmes with other collectors. Others seek to buy them, either online, at programme fairs or even at auctions of sporting memorabilia. This emphasises just how popular collecting programmes has become.
What To Collect
Some football programme collectors collect only big game issues. These can be FA Cup or League Cup Finals, or big Champions League/European Cup games and finals from seasons past.
Then of course there are the programmes from specific big games of years past. Take, for instance, the 1953 Matthews Final, the 1960 European Cup Final or the 1966 World Cup Final. These weren’t just big games, they were mega-games, and this reflected in the prices surviving match programmes can command.
But it is not only the football programmes from big games such as major cup finals which are much sought after. Certain games have a certain importance in football history. A good example of this is the first game played by Manchester United following the Munich air disaster in 1958. It was an FA Cup tie versus Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford, and a programme from the game can command a small fortune.
There are collectors who major on football programmes for international games. Supporters of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may well acquire their programmes when they attend games, swap with other collectors or buy them on the internet, at programme fairs or in speciality shops.
Cheaper air travel has meant that more and more supporters are now following their national sides abroad and this means that programmes can be bought at the games on foreign soil.
Programme collectors do try to seek out programmes for years past, and depending on condition these can be valuable. Programmes from big international games are much sort after.