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Found: Aston Villa-West Brom Cup programme from 1895

Football | Published:

An extremely rare programme card from the 1895 FA Cup final between Albion and Villa has been uncovered.

A copy of the cup programme

However, the programme – worth an estimated £17,000 – failed to sell at auction.

The 125-year-old document was among the lots in an auction held yesterday by Buckinghamshire-based Sportingold but no bids met the reserve price, set at £9,600.

Printed by James Upton of Birmingham, the card features both team line-ups for the match, which was staged at the Crystal Palace.

Villa won the match 1-0 to claim the trophy for the second time in their history, gaining revenge for the 3-0 final defeat they suffered at the hands of the Baggies three years earlier.

Bob Chatt scored the only goal after just 30 seconds for a Villa team captained by the legendary John Devey. It remained the fastest goal in FA Cup final history until Louis Saha netted after just 25 seconds for Everton in the 2009 final against Chelsea.

Though the 1895 programme did not find a buyer, one item which did sell at the auction was a programme from a derby encounter between Albion and Villa which took place 15 years later.

The programme from a 1910 Birmingham Charity Cup tie between the rivals, which doubled with a Division One fixture between Villa and Arsenal two days previously, was purchased for £420.

A rare Wolves pocketbook and a postcard of the team from a century ago are, meanwhile, among the items currently available in an online auction run by West Bromwich-based Midlands Sports Auctions.

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The firm have also included a programme from Albion’s 1936 FA Cup third round win over Hull among lots which provide a glimpse into the region’s sporting past, together with bound copies of Villa programmes from the 1932-33 season.

Released ahead of the 1925-26 season, the Wolves pocketbook includes details on every player, results for the previous year, along with the current season’s fixtures and more. In excellent condition, it is expected to fetch around £150.

The unused postcard features a picture of the Wolves first XI in 1920, a year when the club narrowly avoided finishing in the bottom three places in Division Two. It was the final season before the creation of Divisions Three North and South.

The Albion FA Cup programme, which is in very good condition, is from a 2-0 win over Hull. Beaten finalists the previous season, the Baggies would be knocked out of that year’s competition in the fourth round by Bradford Park Avenue, with the tie eventually being decided on a second replay.

Villa items in the auction include bound volumes of programmes from the 1932-33, 1935-36 and 1937-38 seasons. The latter is of particular interest as it was the first campaign the club had ever spent outside the top flight following relegation the previous year. Villa would finish the season as Second Division champions.

For more information on the auction, which closes on June 14/15, visit midlandsportsauctions.co.uk/

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