Fully Programmed

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There's far more to vintage soccer programs than optimistic manager's notes, unreliable team sheets, and grudging opposition "pen pictures." Before the era of the standardized corporate brochure, every club's program had a different, unique personality, and played its part in the precious ritual of going to the match. Last weekend's action shots provided a foretaste of the excitement; the A-Z score sheet provided a live lookout on the rest of the League, while "At Home With. . ." provided a peephole into a star's domestic life. Remember the allure of the Souvenir Shop ads? Football League Review center spreads? "Girl of the Match?" From the "ground picture" cover era through the "groovy" and "color action" phases to the dawn of clipart, programs from our nostalgic 1960s-1990s Golden Age amount to a (slightly crumpled) pocket history of graphic design. Packed with pictures and memories, Fully Programmed offers an irresistible window back into more innocent times.


Derek Hammond has written about soccer and music for FourFourTwo, club programs, mirror.co.uk, and the NME. Gary Silke is editor of the Fox, one of the original and oldest soccer fanzines still in existence. The pair have provided soccer cards for The Onion Bag, BBC1's Match of the Seventies/Eighties, and the National Football Museum.