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

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week