Antiques Column: Wonderful 1905 football programme

When Harry Hampton woke up on the morning of April 15th 1905 he was both nervous and excited, but also, somewhere deep inside, he felt lucky.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 6:00 am
1905 football programme.

Today was the day he was going to join his teammates at Aston Villa so that together they could knock seven bells out of Newcastle United and the team could lift the FA Cup.

Well, in front of a crowd of 101,117 roaring football fans, Harry went on to score both goals in the 2-0 win Aston Villa secured over their rivals Newcastle United. They lifted the trophy and somewhere in the crowd, cheering himself hoarse, was the owner of a programme from the game which was brought into our saleroom last week. Just think, all those years ago, our programme was in the pocket of one of the fans, who stood on the terraces at Crystal Palace, in 1905 and watched Harry score those goals.

There is something slightly different about our programme though....... In those “good old days” unscrupulous fellows produced cheaply forged copies of the big match programmes and their associates stood outside the ground and sold them to unsuspecting fans, for large profits. It only happened for big games as the smaller matches wouldn’t have had the crowds to make the whole exercise viable.

We have a football programmes and sporting memorabilia auction on September 2 and this wonderful 1905 programme will be one of the exciting lots included and we are expecting it to realise many hundreds of pounds.

Our own football guru and sporting memorabilia specialist, Robert Lea told me that a genuine programme from that game would make considerably more. It seems strange to me, a man who doesn’t collect football programmes, that there should be such a difference.