THE Fast Show brought its own touch to the world of football with the fictional character, Ron Manager.

When replying to this comment: “But, Tommy, do we need structure? Look at the Brazilians.”

Ron said: “Oh, those Brazilians,you know? Circa 1970? Broke the mould. Theory out the window.

"Free expression of football. Uncategorisable. Is that a word? It is now! You know? Far cry from small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts.

"Rush goalie. Two at the back, three in the middle, four up front, one’s gone home for his tea. Beans on toast?

"Possibly, don’t quote me on that. Marvellous.”

Jumpers for goalposts you see is emotionally evocative of a time past, a time when things might have been, could have been better, it takes you back to being a child and playing football in the park.

One item which ‘takes us back’ is the humble football programme.

You would expect the programmes from the top matches to be a little bit special.

Collecting programmes is an easy wayto have football memorabilia but at an affordable price.

Bridgwater Mercury:

True, there are programmes which do command a high price, far removed from the pennies they cost when they were first sold.

The pre-Second World War and the Pre-First World War programmes command a lot of money and some can sell for £20,000 depending on the match and when it was played say between 1900-1914.

Looking at some football programme websites a 1930 FA Cup Final programme Arsenal v Huddersfield Town would cost £645 and a 1932 FA Cup Final programme of Arsenalv Newcastle United is £600.

Football is more popular and has a wider range of matches to buy programmes from and the cup finals be it at a World Cup or European Cup are sought after especially those with games which still resonate today such as 1966 World Cup Final or Manchester United winning the European Cup in 1968.

But coming on the outside in terms of cash and value is Rugby Union programmes.

Bridgwater Mercury:

In 1995, Rugby Union went professional and at the time you would have been wise to save all your ‘amateur’ rugby union programmes.

These are the years which will and are starting to attract serious money.

British & Irish Lions programmes from South Africa or New Zealand in the 1930s, 1950s and 1970s are growing in value.

The older years due to scarcity but also the programmes from 1971 British and Irish Lions as to date it is the only test series the Lions have won in New Zealand.

The 1974 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa is sought after as the Lions now called The Invincibles, went the whole tour undefeated and won the Test Series 3-0 (the fourth test and final game on tour was a draw).

You have a whole gambit to select from club matches, cup matches, touring matches between clubs/international teams when the All Blacks, South Africans and Australians came to the UK and Ireland.

Bridgwater Mercury:

And there are also international matches of all the home countries plus Rugby World Cup matches.

Old programmes have a value, some can be worth a few pennies, some can bring much more and it is always worth checking up on whatyou have in your possession.

Remember it is condition, condition, condition.

It needs to be as perfect as it can be as value will drop as condition deteriorates.

Bridgwater Mercury: