This rare and fragile matchday programme called ‘The Cottagers’ Journal’ was produced for Fulham’s Second Division fixture at Craven Cottage against Leicester Fosse 110 years ago.
The match took place on 26 October, 1912. Fulham were 15th in the Second Division table consisting of 20 teams and Fosse were 18th. Some 6,000 fans watched the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Fosse scorer was centre-forward Fred Osborn, who is described in the Fosse photo album for 1911/12 (which is also in the Club’s archives) as ‘a clever forward with a fine shot’.
The programme cost one penny and was only sold inside the ground. Its 18 pages are full of densely printed text but, apart from one page detailing the teamsheet for the match and another page containing the Second Division table, there is no content whatsoever about Leicester Fosse.
There are no photographs in the programme either, apart from a small head and shoulders portrait of a famous Edwardian actress called Ethel Erskine, who was appearing at the Fulham Theatre at the time.
The advert on the front cover, for houses near Craven Cottage which could be purchased for £285, was placed by a firm called Allen and Norris. Henry Norris was a Fulham director who had previously been the capital club’s chairman – and who was later to become Arsenal’s chairman. He had made a fortune building houses in south and west London, especially in Fulham, where he was the mayor from 1909 until 1919.
Also advertised in the programme, among other items, were the new Turkish baths in Putney, Brock’s assorted fireworks, cigarettes, trusses and Fulham season tickets. These ranged in price for from 8/6d (42p) up to £1/11/6d (£1.57) for men in the centre stand. Interestingly, ladies’ tickets in the centre stand were cheaper at £1/1/0. (£1.05). The sum of £1 in 1912 was the equivalent of £125 today.
Articles in the programme included the Fulham-orientated ‘Tales of the Cottagers’ and the two-page ‘Jottings and Chippings’ feature which covered football gossip from across England and Scotland. There are also features on Fulham’s reserves, on clubs taking longer to recover from relegation and on musings about the best team in London.
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