Rare football programme up for auction

The rare programme
The rare programme

ONE of the oldest, rarest and most valuable Hastings football mementoes is expected to sell for up to £300 at auction.

It is a black and white football programme produced for ‘the grand match’ between Hastings and Sheffield at West Hill on a Wednesday afternoon sometime in the 1880s.

To watch the match it cost sixpence (six old pennies, or nearly 3p).

Although the programme is not dated, auctioneer Graham Budd thinks the match took place in or around 1885 - three years before the start of the Football League.

And that is why the programme is so valuable.

It is now set to fetch between £200 and £300 at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday (May 10)

Hastings played in an eye-catching black and amber strip for the match against Sheffield and this was the Hastings line-up: Balchin, Lodge, Brown, Craze, Hall, Middleditch, Hughes, Hemmings, Ball, Hadden, Mansford

The match took place about nine years before Hastings United was founded in 1894 as Rock-a-Nore. United played in local leagues until 1921, when they merged with All Saints and became Hastings and St Leonards Amateurs and joined the Sussex County League, where they played until 1927.

In 1948, a new Hastings United was formed and they played in the old Southern League until they folded because of financial problems in 1985.

The present Hastings Football Club changed its name from Town to United in 2002.