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Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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Fully Programmed: The Lost World of Football Programmes By Derek Hammond & Gary Silke

Release date: 12th December, 2015
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: £16.99
Our Price: £14.88
You Save: £2.11 (12%)
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The prolific writing team of Derek Hammond and Gary Silke, responsible for reviving memories of long-forgotten Subbuteo sets, outrageously long sideburns and the Football League Review in their cult classic, Got, Not Got, have, like a reliable centre-forward, produced the goods again with Fully Programmed: The Lost World of Football Programmes.

The pair’s brief was to embark upon “a timewarp trip…in search of programme covers that are full of personality, memories and signs of lost time.” One again, they’ve delivered in spades.

In the latest offering from these accomplished miners of footballing memorabilia, we come face-to-face with examples of every league club’s programmes, mostly from the sixties and seventies. The duo also sprinkle in entertaining period references to life’s long-forgotten highlights such as ‘Pontinental holidays’, the Debenhams Cup Final and Goal magazine, while finding space to focus on programme covers depicting aerial shots of football grounds and features such as the home manager’s notes or the ‘girl of the match’, introduced by Coventry City, apparently.

Here we can laugh and revel at football’s embarrassing past – it’s akin to your Mum producing a photo of you in shorts on your first day at school and handing it to the girlfriend you’ve brought home for the first time.

Yet Kevin Cummins’ beautiful photograph of a snow-covered Maine Road and Portsmouth’s Soviet-style modernist cover from 1967-68 prove that not all programmes were ridiculously amusing, although the touched-up photograph of an overweight striker on the front of a Swindon programme from 1969-70 caused much laughter.

There are programmes from Cup Finals and testimonials, while the introduction of the ‘match day magazine’ and newspaper-style programmes, favoured by the likes of Derby, is also charted.

The pair award the (purely arbitrary) prize for the best programme name ever to Stoke City who, in 1969-70, named theirs “The Ceramic City Clipper”; the one shown here depicts a diving Gordon Banks and makes reference to a centre page feature on Pelé. Class.

If you attended a football match between 1960 and 1992, you will love this book; if you didn’t, it’s worth reading because football programmes are clearly part of our social history.


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