BCAFC programme feature: vs Cheltenham Town 1st December, 2020

Football programmes have traditionally been a staple of the match day experience, historically a collectable for many supporters. At Valley Parade, programmes have been produced for first-team fixtures since 1909 and the sale of single sheet team cards dates back even further. This season the match day magazine celebrates the rich heritage of old programmes from earlier years and today’s issue is based on the design from 1974/1975 when we were members of Division Four.

Long forgotten opposition

In 1974 Bradford City introduced a new club crest and with it, a bold new design for the match day programme cover (although the format of content remained much the same as before). The new identity was inspired by the branding of the new Bradford Metropolitan District authority that came into being the same year. The design was supposedly the work of a club employee on the back of an envelope. In those days there was no reliance on graphic artists but by the same token it was relatively easy to introduce a new club identity. Given that it had limited application it was a much less complex task to change the club badge. In fact, other than on club stationery, season tickets and a narrow range of merchandise it was the programme where the new graphic would be seen the most.

Chairman Bob Martin had hoped to go further than change the crest. Earlier in the year he had been thwarted in his attempt to rename the club ‘Bradford Metro’ to promote a new unified identity for Bradford football after the final collapse of Bradford Park Avenue.

There has been a remarkable turnover of clubs in the fourth tier since 1974/75. Of the opposition that season, we will meet Mansfield Town, Cambridge United, Exeter City, Newport County and Scunthorpe United at the same level in 2020/21. Five clubs are now members of the second tier: Rotherham United, Reading, Brentford, Barnsley and Swansea whilst six are in the third: Shrewsbury Town, Lincoln City. Northampton Town, Doncaster Rovers, Crewe Alexandra and Rochdale. However, as many as seven clubs are no longer members of the EFL: Chester, Southport, Hartlepool United, Torquay United, Stockport County, Darlington and Workington.  

Games with the latter category were a regular staple of fixtures at Valley Parade during much of the post-war period and games with Stockport in particular were historically passionate affairs.

The menus above provide links to features written by myself in the BCAFC programme during previous seasons.

Link here to galleries of historic BCAFC programmes on this blog

Link to feature about the historic development of the BCAFC programme since 1909 published on VINCIT.