Selby Town V Eccleshill United
The first of my programme flash backs takes us back to the 21st of January, 1995. That cold Saturday afternoon featured Selby Town V Eccleshill United, a match that was to be replayed twenty-three years later almost to the day (see my photo gallery from that game here).
Starting with the cover, it is made from a really nice gloss card, which makes it easy to flick through the standard paper pages. The programme as with most programmes is printed in black and white, but the cover also features oodles of red which really makes it stand out. There are two large photos on the cover, both featuring action from the previous seasons match against Hallam. The photos look great and are nicely printed, with both attributed to the Selby Times.
This issue of the programme was on sale at a bargain price of 50p, which when you that twenty-three years later, the current programme is only £1.50, it has stayed at a very affordable level.
Inside, the first thing we see is a full page advert for ‘Courage’. Courage was at this time based in Tadcaster at the John Smith’s Brewery now owned by Heineken. As a company it dates back as far as 1787, and has a long tradition of brewing throughout the country. It was actually in 1995 at the time of this programme being printed that Courage was acquired by its rivals, Scottish & Newcastle based in Edinburgh, and it remained like this until 2008 when Heineken stepped in and took over.
As a side note, ‘Courage’ beers are still being brewed to this day, but are now done so by Marston’s Brewery.
Next we turn to the contents page and a list of those involved in the club. Some of the names on the list of those involved with the club are still involved to this day and it is great to see just how much people love the club and have given their time and energy to make it a success. It is also a testament to the time of printing that all of the Selby phone numbers begin with ‘0757’, with the extra ‘1’ being added to make it ‘01757’ just four months after this programme was printed, on what was known as ‘phONEday’.
Moving on to the line-ups, the Selby squad features a lot of famous names including Simon Acaster, Nigel Oldfield, and Chris Collier, but it’s the referee and linesmen (as they were still known back then) that immediately stands out. Supporting referee Phil Oxley, are Shaun Proctor-Green, and that familiar sounding linesman, Howard Webb. This was still early in Howard’s career in football, with him learning the game in the Northern Counties East before becoming one of big ‘named’ referees in the Premier League. He then went on to achieve even more success by refereeing the World Cup Final in 2010 – not bad to say that back in ’95 he was tracking up and down the side of the pitch at Richard Street!
Following on from the line-up page, the rest of the programme features numerous adverts from business that are mostly no longer with us, although there are some exceptions such as ‘Harlequin Property Services’, and ‘A.Grundy Funeral Director’ which are still going strong today.
One section I particularly enjoyed was the ‘Talk of the Town’ written by Paul Midwood in which he gives his views on the upcoming game and gives a little bit of information on what’s going on at the club. In that article he reflects back to the match two weeks earlier, when Selby Town took on York City in what was the first match under Selby’s new floodlights. Selby lost 3-0 but had a great crowd of 250 – let’s hope the clubs current success can lead to regular attendances at that level. Paul also takes the time to thanks Eccleshill for ‘supplying their club history and pen-pictures’. This is one area that I think a lot of programmes are missing out on nowadays – just a short paragraph about each of the players in the visiting clubs’ starting 11. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just who they are, what they do, and who they might have played for before. The information doesn’t even have to change from match to match (unless there are new signings), so when a club sends off their club history to be added to a programme, let’s find out more about the players too!
Currently at this point in the season, Selby sat at fourth had played 17 and picked up a fantastic 9 wins and 6 draws, which shows the run of form that would eventually – just one year later – lead to them achieving promotion to the NCEL Premier division.
Overall, it is a solid programme with plenty of information on both teams and their histories. It maybe lacks some of the quirks and humour that exists in some of the other programmes that I will eventually look at, but it is an enjoyable read and more than adequately does the job.