Published in the match day programme: Bradford City v Southend United, 19-Jan-19

After enamel badges, pennants have traditionally been the most common souvenir sold by football clubs. The oldest in my own collection dates to 1968 and is a typical V-shaped pennant with tassles, 23cm in length (pictured). Produced by Millar Pennants this was derived from a generic design template and there is similarity of this with an Avenue pennant of the same vintage. An internet search suggests that most other Football League clubs were featured in this way by the same suppliers.

1968 Pennant -.jpg

The City version features the club’s classic claret and amber stripes and the club crest that then featured the Bradford boar’s head.

Football souvenirs were originally advertised in the emergent soccer magazines of the 1950s and 1960s such as Soccer Star, Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly or Goal with adverts aimed at schoolboy readers. Not surprisingly these tended to be limited to first division English and Old Firm clubs. With growth in demand for football merchandise after 1966 there was a trickle down impact to lower division clubs, driven as much by suppliers seeking new markets as clubs and independent retailers seeking profits. However Bradford City was not unique in that its souvenir shop was managed by volunteers from the supporters’ club.

Coffers pennant.JPG

It was not until the second half of the 1970s that there was an increase in merchandising at Valley Parade although souvenirs remained targeted at younger fans. Pennants remain a staple item in the range of goods on sale in the City Shop although surely by now every design variant has been exhausted. Also shown is a pennant from 1983 and in common with many other designs it refers to our famous FA Cup victory in 1911.

John Dewhirst


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