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09-10-2016

First Football Programme Sold

Prog Rocks!

On what I will assume was a gloomy day in Glasgow on this day in 1877, a football match took place between one of the finest teams in Scotland, Queen's Park, and the former English holders of the FA Cup, Wanderers FC. Spoiler alert: Queen’s Park won by an impressive five goals to nil. But the game was also notable for being the first documented example of a programme being sold at a game. While there are examples of ‘Match Cards’ relaying information about earlier encounters (like the 1873 England v Scotland international) these were printed after the match and provided the final result as well as other information. But this is the earliest example that has been found of an actual programme featuring the players, positions, team colours and an odd request stating ‘Please Don’t Strain The Ropes’. Now football programmes are part of the ritual of the game, being purchased alongside a pie, a scarf and one of those annoying wooden rattle things.