1967-68: Colour programmes, an abandoned game and a ghost game

The first week

This week we've added a couple more seasons of programmes: 1954-55 and 1967-68.

1967-8 was fairly eventful on the pitch and within the programme. Arsenal reached their first final since 1952, unfortunately losing 0-1 to Leeds in the League Cup final. This was only their second season in the competition, having declined to enter for the first six seasons. For the 3rd round game against Reading a four page programme was produced but for later rounds the full 16 page programme was produced. We've also included the programme for the final and a video that shows how the Arsenal goalkeeper was fouled in the build up to Leeds' goal.

The season started at Highbury with a friendly against Rangers which was marred by unruly behaviour by the away fans in the North Bank. Subsequent programmes contained notices that bottles and other potential weapons were now banned from the ground.

One welcome return was the white shirts to Arsenal's kit. In 1965 Arsenal's traditional all red shirt had been re-introduced. This proved very unpopular with the fans and the club had tried to bring back the white sleeves at the start of the 1966-67 season. However, they missed the Football League deadline to register the kit change and had to play in the all red shirts for another season. There was an exception as they could play in the FA Cup in the white-sleeved kit.

A first for the Arsenal programme occurred on 30 December against Chelsea when full colour photographs were reproduced. This was repeated in the programme against Manchester United. These games were chosen as they were two of the highest attended games with the biggest programme sales. The cost to include these colour photographs must have been astronomical as the cover price was increased from 1d (2.5p) to 1 shilling (5p).

We also had the last game abandoned during play at Highbury when the a snowstorm interrupted the game against Sheffield Wednesday. One game that was never played was the European Cup final replay. As you are, no doubt, aware, Manchester United beat Benfica 4-1 in the final. However, if the game had finished all square, a replay had been planned at Highbury two days later. Programmes for the game were printed but were destroyed shortly after the original game. One of the printers kept aside a couple of the programmes for a friend that he knew collected programmes. This makes this one of the most highly sought after Arsenal programmes.

As well as first team programmes we've also got some reserve and youth team programmes. See if you can recognise any names that made it into the first team, or with other clubs.

Andy, Mark and Darren

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