If you have invested both time and money in amassing a collection of football programmes you will want to ensure that they are kept in the best possible order. It is likely that your collection will include some quite aged programmes, which will require particular care if they are to be preserved and the key to achieving this is ensuring that the collection is both stored and handled properly.

Football Programme Storage

Proper storage of your programmes will help to ensure that they last for many years. This involves much more than simply keeping them in a box, which will create the risk of damage by moisture, dirt, insects and rodents. Programmes should, instead, be individually placed inside clear plastic sleeves to keep them clean and dry.

  • Placing a piece of cardboard behind the programme will provide support, preventing it from becoming creased.
  • Preserving the individual pages of the programme can be achieved by inserting sheets of tissue paper between them.
  • The programmes should be stored somewhere cool and dry, as excessive heat and moisture will damage the collection.
  • They should be stored flat, in a location that is out of direct sunlight and, if possible, you should avoid contact with the ground, as this will also reduce the incidence of moisture damage.
  • Finally, it is essential that the programmes are not permitted to come into contact with any acid-based paper or cardboard as this will cause long-term damage to the pages.

Handling your Football Programmes

Whenever you handle one or more of your programmes care needs to be taken to ensure that you do not cause them damage through the natural oil on your hands. The most effective way of doing this is by washing your hands before handling a programme. An additional precaution is to wear cotton gloves. Particular care needs to be taken with the edges of the pages, as they may be more brittle than other parts of the programme. If any dust or dirt has accumulated, this should be cleaned carefully with a dry cotton cloth. Water and/or detergents are likely to cause the ink in the programme to run, especially in older editions and should be avoided.

If you are a smoker or members of the household smoke, this should be avoided whilst handling your programmes to prevent smoke damage and the smell of the tobacco infiltrating the pages of the programmes.

Despite your best efforts, it is possible that the condition of your programmes will deteriorate with age. If this occurs, or you invest in a programme that has already been damaged, you may wish to consider restoration.

Football Programme Restoration

Programmes can be damaged in various ways. The most common types of damage include Sellotape being stuck to the pages, pen and/pencil marks, dirt and other stains, creases to the pages, page tears and splitting of the spine of the programme. There are programme restoration specialists who carry out repairs to this type of damage, restoring a damaged programme to its previous condition and extending its life for many years to come.

Ensuring all the history and excitement held within football programmes is kept in as good a condition as possible is an important aspect of maintaining any collection and we hope the tips above are useful.