'Anorak' in desperate search for Kettering v Corby programme to complete his collection

He's searched high and low but can't find the one memento he needs from 1976

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Rockingham Road in its heyday and Paul, holding a programme from his first Poppies match.

A programme collector has appealed to football fans in Kettering and Corby to help him 'get on with his life' by tracking down the one souvenir he is missing.

Self-confessed 'anorak' Paul Caulfield has accrued more than 1,200 programmes over the years, primarily from games he has witnessed from terraces around the country.

There is just one match he attended which he has no proof of after he didn't pick up a programme as a boy - the 1975/76 Northants Senior Cup Final between the Poppies and the Steelmen.

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Paul, 57, said: "I would have been 12 or 13 at the time and I don't think buying a programme crossed my mind.

"Getting this and completing my collection would be special - and it would mean I can get on with my life!"

The match between the local rivals was played in front of a 1,500-strong crowd at Rockingham Road on Saturday April 24,1976, ending in a 0-0 draw.

Former Ground-hopper Paul, who now lives in Bradford, remembers the clash having 'an edge' to it with Corby having chances to win.

The following week the steel town side did lift the trophy when they won the replay at their Occupation Road home - with a programme in perfect condition from that game agonisingly currently on sale on eBay for just £1.20.

But despite searching high and low and appealing on football forums, housing advice officer Paul has been unable to track down the programme from the Rockingham Road leg.

At the time of the match West Ham fan Paul was living in Gretton, having moved from Essex in his childhood, and started watching Poppies games in the season where they made history by becoming the first senior football club in the UK to feature the logo of their sponsor on their shirt.

His first Rockingham Road match was the FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie with Boston United on November 1, 1975, which the visitors won 4-3 with Howard Wilkinson, who went on to manage England on a caretaker basis, scoring Boston's first goal.

The programme from that match, which cost just 10p on the day, proudly features in Paul's collection of 'tangible mementos'.

He said: "You can remember things just by looking at them - who scored, what the crowd was like.

"Sometimes you can even remember the weather because if the programme's crinkly it was wet."

Paul is happy to pay the market price for the programme, and is also happy to pay for a colour photocopy of it if anyone can provide one.

- If you have the programme and can help Paul, email [email protected]