Saturday, October 9, 2010

9 October 1875 - Anoraks Sold Separately

On 9 October 1875, a crowd of 12,000 people gathered at Glasgow's Hampden Park to see Queen's Park FC defeat English side Wanderers FC 5-0. Apart from the impressive scoreline, the match is notable for being the first known one at which programs were sold to the attendees.

The program for that match consisted of a single sheet listing the date, location, and line-ups for both sides (including C.W. Alcock, the founder of the FA Cup, at center half for Wanderers). It also included an admonition to the crowd: "Please do not strain the ropes." Since then, programs have expanded to multi-page, professionally printed booklets. They have also become an industry unto themselves, with a vigorous collection market. Early versions fetching premium prices at auctions, as do programs from eventful matches, such as World Cup Finals.

The highest recorded price for a program is £21,850, paid at a May 2006 auction for a single-sheet copy of the program from the 1889 FA Cup Final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End.

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