A Guide to Middlesbrough Football Programmes 1946/47 to 2011/12

Guide to Middlesbrough programmes
Boro Programmes Bible

It is always exciting getting your mitts on a new Boro publication and this compilation is set to be a bible for collectors and Boro memorabilia enthusiasts alike. It is a real labour of love as five Boro fans put their considerable programme collections together and then set about compiling a complete post war record for all Boro programmes, home and away.

Programmes from eight decades of Boro history covering more than 6,500 games at all levels are documented in a new book published to raise funds for Middlesbrough Former Players Association.

A Guide To Middlesbrough Football Programmes 1946/47-2011/12 is the first publication to comprehensively detail all Boro programmes dating back to the first post-World War Two season.

The limited-edition guide covers first team, reserve and youth team fixtures in all league and cup competitions, plus well over 600 friendlies and other games played at Ayresome Park and the Riverside, all listed by season.

The project is a labour of love produced by a dedicated group of enthusiasts, as one of them, official Boro statto Shaun Wilson, explained.

“The journey began in June 2011, when a small band of like-minded enthusiasts embarked on the task of compiling an inventory of post-war programmes,” he said.

“Treasured personal programme lists were shared in various formats, from meticulously handwritten records scribed in fountain-pen ink on grainy paper to modern, computer-based spreadsheets.

“It appeared at first to be simply a case of matching up and cross-referencing the separate lists – but then the scale of the challenge became apparent!”

Alphabetically from Aberdeen to Zurich, geographically from Middlesbrough to Wollongong (Australia), in stature from the minnows of Spennithorne and Harmby to the mighty Real Madrid and in profile from the Westmorland County FA Invitation Trophy to the UEFA Cup final, football’s rich and varied tapestry is all weaved in.

The guide covers all the programmes issued – and also the ones that weren’t – as well as long forgotten and obscure games, postponements, rearranged fixtures and even multiple version programmes for the same game. For statisticians, serious collectors, or even those with only a mild curiosity of Boro’s history, this is the very first time that Boro first team, reserve, youth and NRSC fixtures have been collated and documented into a single Middlesbrough FC publication.

It’s a permanent and unique record of Middlesbrough programmes at all levels, preserved for current and future generations of collectors and supporters.

Priced at £11.99 (plus £1.40 postage if required), all profits will go to Middlesbrough Former Players Association, which helps ex-players in need and local good causes.

For more details please contact Shaun Wilson via shaun.wilson1971@gmail.com or to purchase please contact Gary Bolton on gary.bolton1@ntlworld.com for purchase options or telephone 01287 635806 or 07837 075567.

Or why not drop down and buy it at the shop that actually inspired many of these collectors, the hidden gem that is Boro Programmes, 58 Parliament Road, Middlesbrough TS1 4LA, telephone George Harris on 01642 25017. Also available from Boro Bookworm, upstairs in the Forbes Buildings, Linthorpe Road.

I asked one of the compilers, Boro statto, Shaun Wilson for a few words about the book and how he grew into the collecting habit.

My first game – was in 1980, but I started collecting as a 14 year old in 1986. I used to get the bus with some school friends to the match from Skelton, and walked up Linthorpe Road to the ground.
I remember popping in to Forbes Building where George then had his Boro Programmes shop. It was there I caught my collecting bug, and George started my collection, along with no doubt countless others.
I used to basically just get the programmes from games I went to but when I left school in 1988, and started work, I, via George, started to fill in the gaps! It just grew from there!
Over the years I’ve made good friends from collecting and its been a pleasure compiling the book with them. My wants list certainly has risen due to it, as there are issues I never knew existed.
Favourite programme – For a lot of years I required a solitary single sheet from a League Cup 2nd replay at Hull City in 1962 to complete my Boro League Cup collection. I was lucky enough to obtain one a few years ago. Other than that it must be the Bolton Wanderers Carling Cup Final programme from 2004, where finally I obtained a programme from when we won a major trophy!


Now Can Boro Drink Some Cup Magic?

Photo - FA Cup Transported by Tracy Hyman

Boro host Aldershot Town at the Riverside at the weekend and won’t be taking anything for granted after Bradford City’s cup heroics this week. In a week when League Two Club Bradford City made history by reaching the Capital One Cup final it is best not to count any chickens.

The night before Boro’s last home game with Watford I was drawn in to a football debate in the pub. Two friends were arguing that modern football had lost its appeal. It is now merely a money making exercise and there is no longer room left in it for sentiment or indeed the supporter. They argued vociferously that thousands of other lapsed Boro fans would be at that moment drinking in some chain pub and turning their back on Riverside offers. For the lost multitudes ‘Football has lost its soul.’

There is a great deal wrong with modern football, there is no doubt about that but a couple of us immediately sprang to the defence of Middlesbrough as surely standing for something else, an almost uniquely hometown club with a Teesside chairman, manager and many of the players. A club with something of a mission to try and help the community off the pitch and on that very day extending an offer to friends and family of season ticket holders to welcome them back to the fold. Bottom line is we don’t expect to achieve we are just proud to support our Boro.

That argument wasn’t washing with the multitude we were told. People had turned their backs and weren’t for returning. So I changed tack and brought up two of the League Cup semi finalists (now finalists), Bradford and Swansea. Ten years ago Swansea City were scraping and scrapping for their very existence right at the bottom of the Football League. The same Fourth Division (in my friends’ old money) that Bradford City and indeed Aldershot Town still ply their trades in. Surely there is still some magic left in cup competitions and still fairy tales that can come true. The money doesn’t always triumph. Swansea, a club with a philosophy from top to bottom, Bradford a side that dared to believe, it shows you there is still hope and a possible path to glory for every football club and football fan throughout the land.

I won’t go as far as to suggest that it might have been Boro rather than Swansea stepping out at Wembley in the final. We were unlucky in the Quarter Final against the Swans but beating Chelsea has been our undoing so many times before in the cups. Yet the Welsh team have put down a blue print which we are uniquely equipped to follow. We have the manager, the chairman and the direction to be Swansea in 2 years time. What an enormous lift that would be for everyone in these hard times

Back to the present and right now we must guard against complacency v Aldershot Town. Their fellow League Two competitors, Bradford City have just achieved what is in all likelihood the greatest cup shock of all time in defeating THREE Premier clubs to reach a Wembley final. We don’t want to see The Shots following their example and celebrating their 20 year anniversary with our scalp.

So, get along on Saturday and back the Boro. We need fans as well as players to not be complacent. Everyone should treat our opponents with the utmost respect and at least a half full house at the Riverside would show that. Be there and help end Aldershot’s dream but believe in the magic of the cup and we could be the next to achieve great things in this year of the underdog.


Art Cinema @ mima

A runaway funeral carriage, cartoon dinosaurs from 1914, a famous shock horror surrealist scene, and a contemporary soundtrack to a vintage film, all featured in the very first Art Cinema @ Mima offering. The first Sunday of every month is a showcase of a weird and wonderful short films and videos from the early years of surreal cinema in the comfortable setting of the top floor function room at Mima.

Art cinema is curated by Mima and Peg Powler’s own innovative art communicator, AJ Garrett. He promises future screenings encompassing both regional and international artists spanning the 20th and 21st centurys of “art cinema.” Local band Year of Birds recorded a brand new soundtrack for the opening event, expect more of these musical collusions. Sit back and watch the show in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with the opportunity to chat, debate and discuss the films with refreshments available.

Says AJ Garrett, “The first screening, earlier this month included Salvador Dali, a cartoon dinosaur from 1914, a runaway surreal funeral carriage from 1924 and guitar playing skeletons from this century. It was a grand opportunity to show Maya Deren’s 1946 film Meshes of the Afternoon with a cool 2012 soundtrack from Middlesbrough’s Year of Birds.”

The future Art Cinema events at MIMA will feature a variety of films to be announced closer to the time but AJ is quick to stress, “there will always be a few surprises.”
If anyone has any suggestions email AJ@Sozboz.com and here is a parting promise. “If is weird enough to classify as art I will consider it!”

The screenings are totally free and there is booking required. Next show Sunday 3rdFeb 2-3.30pm. www.visitmima.com



Inspire Tees Valley

John Harrison - photo Tracy Hyman

Last weekened I was inspired by the art and music at the spectacularly sited, Cafe Infinity right on the banks of the Tees in Stockton. A gold medallist and a maverick daredevil photographer were amongst those whose work is being showcased.

GNT Media were frustrated artists that wanted to exhibit their work and that of fellow artists. They looked around and didn’t see a whole lot of opportunities to do that so they decided to do it for themselves. The result was been a fabulously successful exhibition at Stockton’s Cafe Infinity of artwork from artists inspired by landscape and people from right across the Tees valley area.

Young art graduate Lauren Duncan formed GNT media with the idea of bringing Pop Up Galleries to Stockton. This tie up with Cafe Infinity has already been an overwhelming success. An exhibition to showcase the very best of Teesside talent actually attracted a staggering number of entries, over 300 in all, which had to be whittled down by a panel to the roomful on display last weekend at Cafe Infinity.

Officially opened by the Mayor of Stockton the exhibition attracted big crowds including the Chief Executive of Stockton Council and of course many proud friends and family of the artists exhibited. The work ranged from photos to abstract. From collage to line drawing. Subject matters ranged from locations right around the area, Saltburn pier and cliff lift to South Gare lighthouse to the dear old Transporter Bridge. All the work was available to buy and prices varied from just £35 to the £250 successful bid for Olympic Gold Medallist Kat Copeland’s special Olympic Infinity Bridge collage. So hopefully everyone’s pocket was accommodated. The spectacular photo or Lower Force on the Tees by Richie Jenkinson was actually sold for £60 before the exhibition officially opened. By close of play eight pieces of artwork were sold in all.

There were some unusual items included. The enigmatic “The Eye of Silence”  produced photography of Teessides two iconic Twentieth Century bridges, Transporter and Newport from a birds eye view that you will never have seen before. How on earth did they manage to scale the bridges to take them? And did they have permission? The Eye of Silence has actually been commissioned by The FA to photograph football stadia nationally from their birds eye viewpoint.

Lauren Duncan painted the sci-fi steel works skyline as well as capturing the other worldly luminescence of the illuminated river banks you can view from the Cafe Infinity windows just behind the painting. That is the other star of the show Cafe Infinity itself and its amazing views perched above the bend in the River Tees.

Future events are planned for the Cafe, working closely in conjunction with GNT Media. Artist Diane Bowell will start a residency in February, launched with a party on Feb 1st. The cafe is open daily and there is a car park for the cafe accessed between the road works from the main Riverside Road between the Teesside Princess and Castlegate side and the Casino.

This was a wonderful art exhibition accompanied by a musical weekend. It just goes to prove that there are a lot of talented folk out in Teesside and GNT Media has helped give them a showcase. So people of Teesside be inspired.
For further information contact lauren@gnt-media.co.uk Any local businesses looking to sponsor future events please contact info@gnt-media.co.uk


Wolves With CD’s

Dressed Like WolvesI hope you had a good festive period, perhaps like me you were lucky enough to catch some live music. I reckon one of the highlights for me was a very special evening at the Westgarth, Middlesbrough. It was a CD launch night for three exciting young acts, all of an acoustic flavour. It was a night kicked off by General Sherman whose Tales From Noddy’s House, includes the instrumental about a tree which spawned the band’s name itself. It was my first view and listen to General Sherman and I was enormously impressed. Violin, keyboard and even glockenspiel augment the fragile acoustic and almost whispered vocals. The fully plugged in and driving rhythm section averts any twee tendencies. I do like the contrast between the two vocal styles and most of all the fact that they don’t really sound a whole lot like anyone else. By the way that General Sherman tree is a gigantic one growing in California. I think this is a band that will grow and grow. They certainly grew on me on first viewing.


I detect a bit of a cross over between Liam Sanders and General Sherman as both appear on each other’s EPs. Liam is a most interesting singer-songwriter as he can throw you out of your comfort zone and catch you out with barbed lyrics or twisted word play. His ode to the Tangerine Slapper was well appreciated but there were many other highlights. Irregular At Best suddenly shifts tempo, heading helter skelter like towards an uncertain ending. Oh and I must add that the General Sherman instrumentation on Batten Down the Hatches CD is a real joy.