Lot 1388: THE OLDEST KNOWN SURVIVING 11-A-SIDE FOOTBALL MATCH PROGRAMME AND FOR
November 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: THE OLDEST KNOWN SURVIVING 11-A-SIDE FOOTBALL MATCH PROGRAMME AND FOR THE WORLD'S FIRST EVER OVERSEAS INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL MATCH: ETON COLLEGE, ENGLAND, PLAYING AT YALE COLLEGE, USA, 6th DECEMBER 1873 Yale v Eton programme played at Hamilton Park, New Haven, Connecticut, Saturday 6th December 1873, match card, front cover with gilt & blue printed frame, motif and text reading ETON, YALE, FOOT BALL MATCH, HAMILTON PARK, SATURDAY, DEC. 6th, 1873, the centre pages with the line-ups, the Eton XI comprising G.C. ALLEN, P. ALLEN, J.W. BALFOUR, C.W. BENSON, E. CHAPLIN, E.S. HAUBURY, R.M. McKERRELL, H. ROMILLY, EARL of ROSEBURY [stet], R. RUSSELL, H.M. THOMPSON, the Yale XI comprising E.V. BAKER '77, H.D. BRISTOL '74. C. DEMING '72, F.L. GRINNELL '75, W.S. HALSTEAD '74, W.O. HENDERSON '74. A. HOTCHKISS '75, H.J. McBIRNEY '75, P.A. PORTER '74 & T.T. SHERMAN '74, the back page a printed scoresheet, which has not been filled in, found preserved in a scrapbook, where it was only pasted to the left-hand side, except for this residue the card is in very good condition College football in America can be traced back to 6th November 1869. Rutgers University played Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey) in a game played with a round ball and using a set of rules suggested by Rutgers captain William J. Leggett based to some degree on English Football Association Rules, in the sense that throwing or carrying the ball was not allowed and the object was to kick the ball into the opponent's goal. However, the game was played by two massive teams of 25-a-side, and rather than the match being framed by time, the winners were the first team to score six goals. The earliest known surviving US football programme was offered at Heritage Auctions in May 2007, selling for US $24,000. It was a match between Columbia and Yale played at Hamilton Park 16th November 1872. By this time the number of players had reduced slightly, but the game was still a 20-a-side contest. The significance of the present programme, Yale v Eton, is that it was the first time a game was played 11-a-side and the visiting team would have influenced the match to be played as faithfully as possible to Association Rules as first codified and published by the Football Association in England in 1863. Seeing that 11 men on a team was a better number, Yale then campaigned for this to be adopted for all Ivy League matches, and although it took a couple of years of convincing, this did come to pass. The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta have the only other known example of the Yale v Eton programme in their collection. It is possible that some of the English players may have been Old Etonian alumni studying at Yale. Also of great significance, the Yale v Eton encounter is the first recorded overseas international encounter in football history. For the record Yale College beat their English visitors 2-1. Of note, the Eton team included a future British Prime Minister, The 5th Earl of Rosebery (1894-1895). He also became Honorary President of the Scottish Football Association, and Honorary President of Heart of Midlothian FC. Rosebery was also a major figure on the Turf, breeding and racing thoroughbreds, and won the Epsom Derby three times between 1894 and 1905. In terms of early football programmes in Britain, a card was reproduced by the Scottish football historian Andy Mitchell in one of his books which had been issued for the England v Scotland international at The Oval 8th March 1873. This was the second international in football history and the first to be played in England. However, it can't really be treated as a programme in the traditional sense as it was printed sometime after the match with the result included, much in the manner in fact of a cricket scorecard, a format familiar to all visitors to The Oval. Phil Shaw in his 1980 book Collecting Football Programmes put forward a single-sheet issued for a friendly match between Queen's Park and Wanderers as the earliest surviving example he had seen. The match took place on 9th October 1875 in Glasgow. Charles Alcock, instigator of the F.A. Cup, played in the game. Graham Budd Auctions sold the oldest known F.A. Cup Final programme in May 2013. This too had an Eton-theme, being the final tie between Old Etonians and Blackburn Rovers played at The Oval 25th March 1882. It fetched ú30,000, a world-record price for a football programme. From the mid-1880s onwards programmes have appeared on the market with a little more frequency but are still very scarce.