Rare Town programme to fetch �300 at auction

IPSWICH: It cost only two old pennies new, but now 70 years later a rare pre-war Ipswich Town football programme is set to fetch up to �300 at an auction.

The programme was produced for the first-ever East Anglian derby in the Football League, between Town and newly-relegated Norwich City, at Portman Road, in the Third Division (South) fixture on September 9, 1939, just six days after Britain declared war on Germany, on September 3.

In their book, The Men Who Made The Town, John Eastwood and Tony Moyes recall: “The programme for the Norwich match optimistically spoke of two matches in the coming week, but then came the war to put an end to organised soccer for six years, although a number of clubs, including Norwich, Colchester and Chelmsford, continued playing friendlies throughout the period of hostilities.”

Now 70 years later a programme from that 1939 Ipswich-Norwich match is up for sale and it is expected to fetch between �250 and �300 at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby’s, in London, on Monday.

It is the most valuable of a number of 1930s Ipswich programmes brought into a valuation day at Portman Road earlier this year.

When Town played Norwich in September 1939 it was at the start of only their second season as a Football League club, as they joined the league in 1938 after moving up from the Southern League.

Manchester-born Fred Chadwick was Town’s top scorer in 1938-1939 with 17 league goals, so perhaps it was not surprising that it was Chadwick who scored the Town goal in their 1-1 draw against Norwich, in front of a crowd of 10,792.

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The next few years were particularly grim for Chadwick because he ended up as a prisoner of war in Singapore, home of the Changi Prison, where around 850 POWs died.

Somehow he survived the horrors of the war and came back and played for Town after the war. But the war effectively wrecked his promising league career. He was 74 when he died on September 18, 1987.

A bundle of 13 1930s Town programmes, including some from the club’s first season in the Football League, will be sold together in one lot at the auction And together they are expected to sell for between �800 and �1,000.

n Do you have memories of the first derby between Ipswich and Norwich? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@ eveningstar.co.uk