On a recent Matlock valuation day, I discovered dark blue booklet of tickets. Closer inspection showed that this was a very rare survivor: a set of season tickets for Derby County Football Club, dated 1939-1940. The 'subscribers' tickets, allowing entry to all games including the FA Cup, cost £2 2 s, a price many a football fan these days would be more than willing to pay, although this figure would still have represented more than half a week's wages for a working man.
I was initially puzzled by the fact that only one ticket had been torn from the book but then quickly realised that this season's matches had to be abandoned due to the outbreak of World War Two: our young men, unfortunately, had other duties to perform. Whether the original owner was one of the many called away to war, and what his fate may have been, we will probably never know. Being an enthusiastic Derby County fan this is just the sort of item which appeals to me. Particularly fascinating is the list of fixtures at the back of the book. Derby was due to play another historic Derbyshire club, Chesterfield, on 24th August but along with the others the match never took place. Derby County's history goes back to 1884 and was one of the first to join The Football League, formed in 1888. The club is still going strong today. Perhaps next season we'll see them heading back to the Premiership under Nigel Pearson's management.
The game of football has a much longer history than might be supposed, although in Elizabethan times it was considered a disreputable sport and enjoying a game could even land you in jail for a week! We have here in Deryshire, of course, our own Shrovetide Football Match, held each year in Ashbourne, when the Up'Ards and Down'Ards compete in a rather dangerous version of the game which has hundreds of players and very few rules.
The little book of Derby County tickets shows how an object which could so easily have been thrown away as 'worthless' has its own form of value, which will certainly be translated into rather more than its original cost!
The season ticket is expected to make up to £60 when it is entered into our World Cup Football Auction on Tuesday 23rd August. We are currently seeking similar entries, as well as golf, tennis, rugby and cricket memorabilia. For more information please contact the saleroom on 01283 733988 or email email@example.com.
Written by Charles Hanson