Matchday programmes have been produced for St Albans City since the 1921-22 season. To say 'produced for' emphasises the point that for the early years the club did not have a direct involvement in the finished product. Production was left in the very capable hands of the Herts Advertiser who, along with their then sister paper, The Hertfordshire News, covered the affairs of the Football Club extensively. The partnership between the Club and the newspaper was a business matter with the Herts Ad paying for the franchise season on season. When City won the Isthmian League for the first time in 1923-24 the programme sales for the season were 22,290. A total of 20 home games were played that season, this includes five friendly matches. Assuming that programmes were produced for all of the friendlies sales still topped 1,110 per game. During the 1925-26 season the Club enjoyed two successive home gates of just short of 10,000, making the likelihood of this being the season with the highest number of programme sales per game.

The collection viewed here includes two items that pre-date the first official programme. The 1894 programme is actually a flyer advertising an FA Cup tie between the original St Albans Football Club and Luton Town. It was owned by the St Albans goalkeeper Jack Dickerson who also had a spell with Luton.

The second item from 1912 is another flyer promoting City's Spartan League game at Clarence Park with the short-lived Watford Orient club. The flyer mentions that a collection will be taken for H. Gathard. This was Arthur Gathard who suffered a leg injury during a Reserve team match on the 9th November. Arthur was one of seven City footballers to perish during the Great War.

Sticking with the unwanted theme of war, the collection includes the cover for our final programme before the outbreak of World War II and our first during that conflict. For the first season after the war the club produced just single-sheet efforts for each games, many clubs were already back to producing full editions.

The design of the cover has changed many times down the years but also stayed unchanged for many years on other occasions. There have been some very smart designs along with plenty of quite shocking efforts that should never have seen the light of day; several years from the second half of the 1970s and 1991-92 and 1992-93 sit perfectly in the latter category. Some years not only failed to mention the match in question on the cover but also the season.

Since the latter part of the 1990s the cover has changed for each match with an action photograph replacing the static appearance of earlier years.

In 2020 a downladable digital programme was available on the official website. This was due to the Covid 19 pandemic where games were played "behind closed doors".

Hover over an image for the date and click for large scan.


 The 1890's

SA v Luton Town 3rd Nov 1894 (1)small1894-95


The 1910's 

1912 13 v Watford Orient 14h December1912095small1912-13


The 1920s was an era of unprecedented and unrepeated success for St Albans City on the pitch and a time of great expansion off it.

Between 1920 and 1928, the club won five league titles, appeared in the three Amateur Cup semi-finals, lifted the Herts Charity Cup six times, the Herts Senior Cup once, and collected silverware in the Channel Isles and Belgium. At Clarence Park , terraces, in the form of railway sleepers were introduced, the main stand was extended, dressing rooms were installed and matchday programmes were produced for the first time.

The 1921-22 season was the first in which spectators could purchase programmes. They remained available at all games until the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic forced games to be played behind closed doors in 2020 and the programme only available as a digital download.

From 1921 until the outbreak of World War II the programmes were printed by ‘the Proprietors of the Hertfordshire News.’ This, effectively, was the Herts Advertiser. The Hertfordshire News was a superb, though sadly short-lived, offshoot of the Herts Ad that concentrated on sport and provided outstanding coverage of St Albans City. After The News was published for the final time on 2nd May 1922, the programme was produced by ‘The Proprietors of the Herts Advertiser.’

The oldest known surviving copy from that first season is from our second home match of the campaign, an Athenian League match at home to Summerstown on 17th September (below).  Summerstown were a club based in the Euston area of London. The programme was a single sheet, folded once. When opened it was just under 11” wide and 8” high (approx. 27.3cm x 20.4cm), it was printed on pink paper with black type. The layout was one that was popular in amateur and semi-professional football programmes for virtually all of the 20th century with the team line-ups printed in the middle of the centre pages. Although this was before the days of players wearing number on their shirts, the home players appeared in the programme as 1-11 and the away team 12-22.

Teams generally played in what was known as the ‘W’ formation of two full backs, three half backs and five forwards. Starting with the goalkeeper as No.1, the teams lined up as;

2 right back, 3 left back; 4 right half, 5 centre half, 6 left half; 7 outside right, 8 inside right, 9 centre forward, 10 inside left, 11 outside left.

The players’ names were overprinted onto a football pitch with each player shown in the position that they were due to play. City stuck with this format until the 1968-69 season when the names of the players were then listed in a single column and numbered 1-11.

The programme for the Summerstown match has several connections to the City at that time and also the original St Albans Football Club (1881-1904).

On the front page is W.S. Green; clothes fitters and sports equipment specialist in Chequer Street. This was owned by William ‘Bill’ Green who later formed a business partnership with St Albans City’s outside-right Percy Winter. The duo traded under the name of Green & Winter in the latter’s store in Market Place and they often displayed cups won by the club in their shop window.

The centre pages have two connections to the original St Albans Football Club. At the top of the page is ‘The Poly.’ After burning down in 1927, it was better known in later years as the Odeon and, then, the Odyssey. In the programme, The Poly is advertising dancing led by Jack Dickerson. ‘Dicky’ was a teacher at Hatfield Road School, goalkeeper for St Albans (132 appearances, 1891-1899) and, in 1911, he refereed the Amateur Cup final between Bishop Auckland and Bromley. He was also a highly acclaimed dancer and dance teacher who won numerous honours. Jack is buried in an unmarked grave in the Hatfield Road cemetery.

Towards the foot of the page on the right-hand side is an advertisement for H. Olney & Sons, sellers of footwear in Market Place. Henry Olney played for the original St Albans club between 1898-1903.

The 1920's 

1921 22 v Summerstown 17th September 1921small1921-22 St Albans City  v Summerstown  - 17/09/21 1922 23 v Dulwich Hamlet 18th November 1922small1922-23  1924 25 v Brentford 29th November 1924small1924-25  1925 26 v Ferryhill Athletic 27th February 1926small1925-26  1926 27 v Ilford 16th October 1926small1926-27 
         1927 28 v Oxford City 3rd September 1927small1927-28 1928 29 v Fulham 13th October 1928small1928-29 1929 30 v Oxford City 1st February 1930small1929-30     


The 1930's 

1931 32 v Hayes 1st October 1932small1931-32 1932 33 v Leytonstone 14th January 1933small1932-33 1933 34 v Watford British Legion 2nd September 1933small1933-34 1934 35small1934-35  
1935 36small1935-36 1936 37small1936-37 1937 38small1937-38 1938 39small1938-39 1939 40 Last game pre WWII1939-40  


The 1940's 

1945 46small1945-46  1946 47small1946-47  1947 48small1947-48  1948 49small1948-49  1949 50small1949-50 


The 1950's 

1950 51small1950-51  1951 52small1951-52  1952 53small1952-53  1953 54small1953-54  1954 55small1954-55 
  1955 56small1955-56  1956 57small1956-57  1957 58small1957-58  1958 59small1958-59  1959 60small1959-60 


The 1960's 

1960 61small1960-61  1961 62small1961-62  1962 63small1962-63  1963 64small1963-64  1964 65small1964-65 
  1965 66small1965-66  1966 67small1966-67  1967 68small1967-68  1968 69small1968-69  1969 70small1969-70 


The 1970's 

1970 71small1970-71  1971 72small1971-72  1972 73small1972-73  1973 74small1973-74  1974 75small1974-75 
  1975 76small1975-76  1976 77small1976-77  1977 78small1977-78  1978 79small1978-79  1979 80small1979-80 


 The 1980's

1980 81small1980-81  1981 82small1981-82  1982 83small1982-83  1983 84small1983-84  1984 85small1984-85 
   1985 86small1985-86 1986 87small1986-87  1987 88small1987-88  1988 89small1988-89  1989 90small1989-90 


The 1990's  

1990 91small1990-91  1991 92small1991-92  1992 93small1992-93 1993 94small1993-94  1994 95small1994-95 
    1995 96small1995-96  1996 97small1996-97   1997 98small1997-98 1998 99small1998-99   1999 00small1999-00  


The 2000's  

2000 01small2000-01 2001 02small2001-02 2002 03small2002-03 2003 04small2003-04 2004 052004-05
2005 06small2005-06  2006 07small2006-07  2007 08 small2007-08  2008 09small2008-09  2009 10small2009-10 


The 2010's 

2010 11small2010-11   2011 12small2011-12  2012 13small2012-13 2013 14small2013-14  2014 15small2014-15 
  2015 16small2015-16  2016 17small2016-17  2017 18small2017-18  2018 19small2018-19  2019 20small2019-20 


The 2020's