There are millions of football fans across the country, and at some point they have all picked up a Pirate Programme or a fanzine to read about their favourite team. Dating back to the turn of the century, these football guides can be quite valuable and highly collectible. Deciding to collect programmes might seem a little obsessive, but it’s actually a lot of fun and can be well worth it in the end. Here’s a little guide to collecting pirate programmes and fanzines, and whether or not they are worth collecting.

What Are They?

Pirate programmes and fanzines are sold at football stadiums before a big match, like the FA cup. They look like an official match programme, but a closer look will show you that they are indeed fake and not officially licensed. These have been sold as early as the 1900s (possibly even earlier), and it is likely that they were sold under the guise of an official programme to excited fans. Regardless, many have kept their pirate programmes over time, and some have even started collections for them.

What’s Inside?

There are many pirate programmes that are filled with irrelevant information and, in simple terms, rubbish. They don’t mention the match in any real detail, or any of the information you would expect to find in a detailed match programme. However, there are also a large number that are like a cheaper for of the official programme, and some have said that the pirate programmes have been better.

These programmes are actually produced all across Europe, and some have expanded their collections to include this interesting foreign pirate programmes. In the case of fanzines, they are often created by fans, detailing interesting facts and figures, as well as information about team members and matches. It is a fan created guide.

Are They Worth It?

It can be tricky to answer a question that asks if a collection is worth it, primarily because it depends on two factors. Is it of personal worth or monetary worth? For those that collect because they love it and have programmes spanning across the ages, it is certainly worth collecting them. After all, they contain high personal value, and they may not plan on selling them but they would certainly place them highly if they were ever asked how much they were worth.

If you are planning on collecting (or have built a collection) to sell, then things may be a little different. Official programmes can go for incredible figures at auction, with the one of the largest reaching an end price of over £30,000. However, as with all items, the value can hugely depend on the market as well as the economy. After all, in a bad economy less people are paying high prices for collectible items.

The simple fact that stays the same, however, is that older programmes are often considered more valuable than new ones. However, if you have a more modern yet iconic pirate programme, they could be worth even more than those from the 1900s.

When it comes to fanzines, there is not a great deal of value should you go to sell, especially compared to the programme. However, collecting isn’t really about the money – it’s about you enjoying a hobby and finding the things that make you happy. There might be a few, iconic, fanzines that are worth a little, however.

The short answer to the question is yes, it is definitely worth collecting pirate programmes and fanzines. The first reason, is for your own personal enjoyment. After all, so many people love to have an interesting collection that they can admire, and also show off. In the case of pirate programmes, it might be worth a fair amount if you collect enough rare, interesting, and iconic versions. It’s a lot of fun, so start collecting.