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‘Treasure trove’ of early Wolves programmes to sell at auction on 30th November

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Tom Waldron with a few examples from the impressive
Wolves football programme collection

 

A large number of early Wolverhampton Wanderers football programmes discovered during a local house clearance are set to come under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms later this month.
 

The programmes, which cover the 1930s, 40s and 50s, include both home and away programmes and are something of a rare find – as Auction Room Manager, Tom Waldron, explains:
 

I was going through the contents of a local house clearance job when I came across these programmes and, as a Wolves fan, I must say I was particularly excited. It’s a real treasure trove – I’ve never seen so many examples of such early programmes, and most in great condition. Whoever amassed this collection must have been a pretty ardent Wolves supporter – it’s very comprehensive and, while the majority are from home games, there are a significant number from away fixtures, so whoever collected them spent a lot of time on terraces the length and breadth of the country!”
 

Of particular note are programmes covering the period from WWII into the later 1940s; a time when many teams disbanded as players were drafted into the armed forces. However, football did continue, with some teams banding together to form ad-hoc leagues. Wolves was part of the Football League North and, in 1942, won the league’s Cup Final in a game against Sunderland. An exceptionally rare programme from this very game is included within the collection and will form a lot along with another WWII-era programme marking a game against Wolves’ local rivals, West Bromwich Albion, in 1944.
 

Whilst among the rarest examples on offer, these programmes are not the earliest, with four dating back to the 1930s. These include a very rare programme for West Bromwich Albion vs Wolves dated 26th October 1935, alongside examples marking games against Derby in 1936 and 1938, and a match against Brentford in 1938. Collectors will also be particularly interested in the range of programmes which cover Wolves’ home fixtures during the late 1940s, with nearly all post-war seasons having exceptionally rare coverage. In particular, those for the seasons 1947/48 and 1949/50 are each only one programme shy of the complete set. 


The collection also boasts a complete set of programmes from Wolves’ memorable 1948/49 F.A. Cup run, which culminated in their playing Leicester City at Wembley on 30th April 1949; a match they won in fine style, clocking up 3 goals to Leicester’s 1. This season’s programmes will be split into three lots – one encompassing the preliminary rounds up to the quarter final; the initial and replay semi-final programmes against Man Utd making up another lot; while the final programme, together with a ticket stub for the match, song sheet and Wolves souvenir programme make up the third.


Finally, for non-Wolves fans, the collection also includes a considerable number of home fixture programmes for other teams from around the UK during the 1930s, 40s and 50s; including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Walsall, Chelsea and many, many more.
The programmes, which have been split into a total of sixteen lots, will sell within the Sporting Memorabilia section of Wolverhampton Auction Rooms’ Specialist Collectors’ sale on Friday, 30th November. Live online bidding, telephone and commission bidding options are available for those unable to attend. For further information, or to find out about Cuttlestones’ House Clearance services, call 01902 421985 or visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk

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