Ever since they were first produced well over one hundred years ago, the matchday programme has become an essential ingredient of British football. I was amazed to discover a while back, that very few clubs outside of the British Isles even bother to produce a programme, including the professional clubs. The programme is therefore, a peculiarly British institution.
As one might expect, the quality and content of programmes varies enormously up and down the Pyramid but donít be fooled into thinking that higher the status of the club, the better the programme: there are some superb productions at Non League level. Indeed, as one climbs the Pyramid, the only thing guaranteed to increase is the price!
Forget about the professional clubs in the UK; in 2003 there were 1,039 entries for the annual Wirral Programme Club awards, which caters for Non League clubs only.
Iím not an avid programme collector but do always try and acquire one from every ground I visit. This section of the site gathers together some from the 2002/03 season onwards (I had to have a cut-off date of some sort). As you might expect, they generally cover my home county of Sussex, and those clubs Iíve either visited with Eastbourne Borough or on Ďhoppingí expeditions for this website.
I would like to expand this section, so if you would like to see your clubís programme featured (or have others that you would like to donate or lend) please send them to: Pyramid Passion, PO Box 2923, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 8WG.
Alternatively, good quality digital scans can be emailed to email@example.com
Although a bit restricted geographically, the covers shown do nevertheless illustrate the variety of designs. A number of clubs at the higher levels of the Non League Pyramid have their programmes professionally produced, and itís hard to imagine that these glossy publications pay for themselves, given the average attendances.
Having to struggle to produce a regular column for the Eastbourne Borough programme, I admire anyone who volunteers to devote the time required to produce an entire programme on a regular basis. Many editors do it single-handedly, and get little or no thanks for their efforts; indeed punters are all too quick to point out mistakes without considering the amount of time and effort that goes into it.