Aston Villa vs Wrexham 1971, Division 3

Your cover page, answering the old terrace song "Where were you at The Shay?" At home by the looks of it... Must be the ludicrous 3pm Saturday kick-off. Pfft.

Your cover page, answering the old terrace song “Where were you at The Shay?”
At home by the looks of it…
Must be the ludicrous 3pm Saturday kick-off. Pfft.

By Miles McClagan

Programme: Aston Villa vs Wrexham (Division 3)

Date: 25/09/1971

Score: 2-0

It always seemed strange to me when I started collecting programmes that collectors would spend £10,000-15,000 on four-page FA Cup Final programmes from 1924.

For me, my collection was always about little victories – a “Miss Football Club X” final here, a new social club for old boys opening there.

Take Aston Villa’s two-season toe-dip into Division 3 in the early 1970s – programmes documenting their tussles with the likes of Wrexham, Rochdale and York aren’t going to attract big money at auction. And yet just look at the glorious cover – it documents Villa’s trip to Halifax. In front of crowd of – wait for it – quite literally no fans. Who are those police, well, policing? Does Halifax’s long-haired striker want to get involved or just gape? It’s a work of art…

And then you turn to pages 12 and 13. On page 12, Bruce Rioch, Willie Anderson (replete in “jazzy headgear”), George Curtis and Harry Gregory are modelling high fashions for Rackhams. On page 13, the immortal Chico Hamilton (no, not that one) is opening up a mod boutique.

For just 6p, it’s a world of entertainment. Throw in the usual Villa ’71 standards (dip in the club shop, Villa drinkers who’d batter you) and it’s another stroll through the wonderful world of 70s football.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some gear to order by postal order from Rackhams… maybe a jazzy coat…

Mister, I think you're too old for this play park.

Mister, I think you’re too old for this play park.

To be brutally honest, they could have told me this was a Pink Floyd photo shoot and I’d have believed it.

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A mod boutique? That’s just how Chico rolls.

I won’t lie, I LOVE that a third division striker thought, “You know what, I think a mod boutique is what this city needs…”

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The club shop, where you can pick up an “official” Villa Club Tie, not one of those dodgy bootleg ties from the car park.

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Real men drink beer out of glasses with handles.

Aston Villamen – make no mistake, they WILL punch you if you look at their “bird”, and probably even if you don’t… (“What, she not good enough for ye…”)

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And if you thought the Villamen would mug you, Andy Lochhead is a stone cold certainty to avoid spilling a pint on…

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