One of the most popular categories of sporting memorabilia, football programmes chart the history of the nation's favourite sport. For a footie fan, there can be no better collectible. The sheer number of programmes to collect is dizzying, with fixtures ranging from friendlies through to League and FA Cup matches and all the way up to international tournaments. That's thousands of fixtures spread throughout history.
Some collectors will choose to focus on a particular era, others their favourite football league, team or player. Others will collect a happy jumble of programmes across a wide range of leagues and periods. How you choose to focus and categorise your collection is completely up to you.
As with all collectibles, the condition and quality of your football programme is important. It can have a huge effect on value and desirability. There are various imperfections or faults that you may find on football programmes, including creases, team changes, written scores, rusty staples, marks, stains, punch holes, tears and removed tokens. Different collectors will accept different imperfections, with some finding neat writing on vintage programmes to add historic interest and others preferring programmes as close to mint condition as possible.
It is usually best to find out the specific details about condition, rather than accepting a general rating of ‘good' or ‘very good'. You might also see some restored programmes. While this can certainly improve the look of a programme, it does not necessarily increase its market value.
The age of a programme and the status of the match it covers also have a significant impact on value. In fact, if a programme covers a famous final from history, you might find prices are still high even if there are imperfections in the condition. In general, the older the programme, the rarer it is likely to be and so the more valuable it is.