Our new book ‘Fully Programmed celebrates our love affair with football programmes, and this story illustrates just how important they were…
There is something about the British. They like to keep records and tick off lists. Whether it be football programmes or railway trains or all the other hobbies. It seems to be very important to us that there is a programme representing each game.
When Leicester played in the UEFA Cup against Atletico Madrid in 1997 Leicester fans were desperately trying to get hold of a match programme and there just wasn’t one. They had to make do with a newspaper supplement that was on sale in the afternoon, which didn’t quite satisfy the need.
We once travelled up to Oldham Athletic at the start of the season and they had employed a new firm to print their programmes and they hadn’t arrived by kick-off. There was panic!
In most countries the fans would shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well, there is no programme.” but in England that can’t happen…
The completists were sweating. Decades old collections would be ruined.
And then… at half-time a helicopter appeared out of the setting sun, like a scene from a Vietnam war movie, and landed in the car park behind the stand.
It was the programmes!
A small army of sellers unloaded the boxes and went round the terraces selling the programmes to relieved punters, and everyone was happy.
You can buy ‘Fully Programmed’ from Amazon HERE.