A claret and blue cover unsurprisingly was chosen for the 1969/70 Aston Villa News and Record.
It was in vogue those days to steer away from using the title of programme and terms such as Match Day magazine were also prevalent. Also popular at the time was to have the teams listed on the front cover and Villa followed that new tradition. The 24-page programme has plenty of black and white photographs and the odd splash of colour with claret and blue headings. It is held together by two, now rusty, staples.
Inside the front cover we find something that was in every programme those days the key to the half-time scoreboard. Without it you would not know that when the score 2-1 was put up against letter ‘A’ that it meant that Arsenal were beating Chelsea 2-1.
Tommy Docherty writes his final Doc’s Diary on page three predicting who will do well in that year’s FA Cup. He selects Leeds as the best side in the country; Chelsea as the force for the future; Liverpool as always among honours and Derby as the best of the outsiders. Chelsea beat Leeds United in a replay for those with bad memories.
Good prophecy Tom, shame you didn’t see the sack coming on Monday!
The next three pages highlight the visitors – Portsmouth – with pictures of Nicky Jennings and Albert McCann in action and the obligatory pre season press call photo. There are also the usual one-paragraph player biographies (penpics), which were the same in every away programme the whole season except for clubs on a bigger budget that might write their own? Jim Storrie is picked for a special mention as he had been with Docherty at Rotherham; Jim thanked Villa by scoring that day.
The programme is littered with full-page photos of Villa’s FA Cup draw with Charlton in their last home game. I feel they thought they were hard done by in. There is a three-page story of 1920’s striker Len Capewell which is well illustrated by Plumesque cartoons. A two-page spread on current player Keith Bradley, a defender who played 122 times for the Villa before moving on to Peterborough.
The remainder is filled with results; league tables which shows Villa bottom of Division Two with Pompey not much better off; prices from the club shop and a few but not too many adverts.
Hidden Pompey links
One little item of note is in the section ‘Seen and heard on the Soccer scene’.
It relates to Pompey’s cup defeat to Tranmere Rovers two weeks before. Pompey planned an inquest practice game and needed a few players to make up the necessary 22. They included now club secretary Jimmy Dickinson, maintenance man John McClelland and ironically a man who was training with them at the time – Tony Knapp the Tranmere player manager!!
A name on the team sheet will also stir memories – Jimmy Brown. No not James Brown the late and great soul singer but the same Jimmy Brown who arrived at Fratton Park ten years later on loan and helped Pompey just escape from the Fourth Division. The fans took to Jimmy in those five games and at the celebration in the Guildhall Square he received a raucous reception with chants of ‘give him a contract’. The board did not listen and Jimmy moved on to Hibernian.
Priced at only One Shilling (5p) this programme is hardly exciting but a nevertheless a piece of football history.
Written by eastneydave.
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