Outside The Box: Everton get with programme and transfer rare gem to United

A friendly gesture from Everton, who have allowed the Manchester United museum to borrow what is claimed to be the oldest known United programme. It is for a game in April 1889 between Everton and Newton Heath, forerunners of United, who went bankrupt some 13 years later.

Given all last week's hoo-hah over Wayne Rooney, the advertisements in the programme are interesting: dancing at the Royal Assembly Rooms, a Wines & Spirits shop, a Tobacco & Cigars store and a "Leather Warehouse" (selling "football bladders" rather than anything more exotic).

Chris Williams of the auction firm Sporting Gold says: "In the very early days they were really just a card, with the teams listed on one side and sometimes the home team's fixtures on the other side. It was probably Sheffield United who produced programmes in the format that most people would recognise when the 16-page issues were produced in 1897." Sporting Gold's next auction will include a match card for an FA Cup tie between Wolves and Matlock from 1886.

According to Programme Monthly , the oldest known match card dates back to October 1879 for a game between the Scottish side Queen's Park and Wanderers, which identifies the players by their headgear: "Lord Kinnaird, blue-and-white cap" etc. The most expensive sale recorded for a single programme is believed to be the £21,850 paid for the 1889 Cup final at Kennington Oval in which Preston's "Invincibles" completed the Double in the Football League's first season by beating Wolves.

Joy of Six was shortlived

Now Aston Villa's production of "Waiting for Gérard" (Houllier) is almost over, it is worth remembering the arrival of the club's first Frenchman, the winger and World Cup player Didier Six (pictured), back in the mid-Eighties. "I didn't feel like coming at first, I didn't want to go," he recalled. "It pissed me off. But then I was overwhelmed by what I saw. I stayed in Birmingham for two or three days and I was seduced by the ambience. With the Villa players, it was instantly: "Come on, let's go for a pint! Let's go for a drink!" Alas, the joys of Ansell's Bitter soon wore off and after only 13 League starts, he headed back to France with Metz.

Croydon are back on track

Encouraging news of Croydon Athletic, whose future has been in doubt following accusations that the owner, Mazhar Majeed, was involved in cricket spot-fixing. After postponing two games in the Ryman League and withdrawing from the FA Cup, as well as losing the manager and several players, Croydon have rearranged tomorrow's scheduled home game with Aveley for this Friday and are promising to field "a full and competitive side".

Something to Brag about

As well as threatening Arsenal's biggest Champions' League victory of 7-0, last Wednesday's opponents Sporting Braga must have set a record for highest aggregate shirt numbers: 427, which included numbers 84, 88 and 99. It would have been even higher had there been room for the substitute wearing No 85, Elton, who remained on the bench; presumably singing Sad Songs during the 6-0 defeat.

No holding the Fort

And finally... Having declined to mention our Highland League friends Fort William last week in the hope that it might bring a change of luck after a run of defeats by 8-0, 8-0 and 7-1, we were thrilled with the result away to rivals in distress Rothes: a gritty 3-3 draw. That first point of the season, after only seven games, offered the possibility of drawing level at the bottom with yesterday's opponents, the other members of the eternally struggling triangle, Strathspey Thistle. Hurry to the results section on page 25 to check the outcome of what would be called a six-pointer if either side was likely to amass that number during a season.

s.tongue @independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high