For over a hundred years football programmes have been the vital accompaniment to any match. Even the smallest, most insignificant game is normally commemorated by the issue of a matchday programme. I know some people who will not count that they have been to see a game unless they can get a programme or at least a team sheet. They have also been in some instances a valuable commodity, with some programmes being sold at major auction houses around the world for more than £20,000, although ironically these days when programmes are mass produced glossy “brochures”, the programmes that fetch the highest bids on the likes of eBay are pirate programmes, often complete with spelling mistakes and miscredited photos.
When West Ham went on their last “European Tour” there was not a programme issued for the game in Palermo. There was an official press pack that of course found its way onto eBay, but the greatest demand came from a fake programme issued in small numbers, and sold to arriving fans at Palermo airport complete with photos of Rio instead of Anton Ferdinand, and the recently departed Marlon Harwood instead of Carlton Cole. Oh, and of course the club were managed by Alan Mildew instead of Pardew. Continue reading