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Belated Happy New Year to you,

That’s 2019 over and I am glad about it, not wanting to wish my life away but 2018 wiped me out, mentally, physically and financially and has taken the past 12 months to recover fully from a venture that I had many reservations about getting involved in and really should have never been involved in, and it very nearly had a catastrophic effect on my other business interests. Since the beginning of 2019 I have been counting the days and months to today.  It’s been a valuable lesson and one that has been turned into a positive, and have often been heard singing, “Non, je ne regrette rien!”.

It may just be me and how I motivate myself but each year I always say, ‘This year will be a big year, bigger than the last, I want to achieve this and do that’. 2019 had those aspirations taken care of, and I ticked off all that I wanted to do, 2020 will hopefully be more of the same.

You may wonder why I am even mentioning any of this and how its linked to this site but this site has been a great little project to focus on with everything else and it is taking shape nicely and has been one of my aims for 2019 to at least get it live and underway. That is in progress with 1552 programmes scanned, 482 tickets scanned and 46746 pages contained within that!

Celtic Matchday HQ throughout December with 482 ticket uploads to go!

There is one immediate change and that’s the introduction of a ‘Flipbook’ style view for the programmes, which rather than clicking and scrolling through the programmes, you can view almost like you would a book and turn the pages of the programme the same way, almost as if you had the thing in your hand, it is best used on a desktop or laptop rather than a handset. I will introduce this with certain programmes and I’ve used it extensively on a new page.

That new page is the ‘Evolution of the Matchday Programme’, which more or less says what it is, and that uses the flipbook feature and it takes you through each era of the programme and it has changed considerably over the years:

https://celticmatchday.com/evolution-of-the-matchday-programme/

I have excluded Parts 2 to 5 for the time being as if all the programme changes throughout the decades are uploaded they appear to kill the sites speed and make it impossible to use efficiently, so I’ll get that worked on by my IT boffin who can hopefully tweak something in the back end to rectify this!

My previous blog was regarding the addition of the tickets, and that has been even harder than the programmes to upload, John has been kindly scanning away in the background and has sent me many hundreds of scans of the tickets individually, I then need to upload and check each one like so:

It seems fairly straightforward, the only difference here is that I do not know what is inside the file until I download, upload, save and click on it and then have to save each file and upload with a title then repeat that many hundreds of times, it has taken a lot of late nights to get it sorted.

The pages with tickets are:

1995/1996/1997/1998/1999/2000/2001/2002

2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018 & 2019, there are more being added and few retakes as some were a little out of focus.

Looking forward into 2020 there will be much of the same for Celtic Matchday, uploads, followed by more uploads and you’ll only ever hear from me when I’ve got something to share.

The recent trip to Glasgow was well worth it, always brief but always worth it, catching up with a few people I haven’t seen for a while, and on my return I have a big box of programmes to sift through. Knowing the Celtic programmes I always know what to expect based on the era with the designs and layouts, however many of the away programmes I have personally never laid eyes on many of them!

The programme count is now up to 1552 scanned, uploaded and fully accessible, that includes 46746 pages! Every page of the website on this upload has had programmes added to it. It is a huge amount of content and pictures, that I am just getting to grips with. I haven’t fully appreciated the content as I’m too busy sourcing programmes and then detailing what I have and having them scanned and uploaded. There will be one more bulk upload before the end of the year which will see the total amount of programmes uploaded near 2000, the ticket figure will be in excess of 1000, which is great considering we only went live in August.

There are many pre-season friendlies in this batch and there are some weird and wonderful fixtures, there is also Version 1&2 (V1 & V2) of certain programmes as I have pirate copies that are often in the native language and I felt it would be worth uploading rather than leave them out. A couple examples are below, the Sunderland one being my favourite, mainly down to its unusual size, being A6.

Sunderland v Celtic – 7th of August 1965 – Friendly – 5-0

Harnosand v Celtic – 31st of July 1985 – Friendly – 11-0

You may have noticed that there is now a tickets section to the website, and in the same way as the programmes are uploaded the tickets will be added year by year and in fixture order, currently my inbox is filling up on a daily basis with thanks to John who has kindly scanned and emailed over 700 ticket stubs to me from his own collection, that I will upload to share with you as soon as I can! There are a couple of examples in years 1994 and 1995, that give you an idea of what to expect, and that will leave me to upload the remaining 702, which I’ll now get on with……

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One of the more intriguing parts of the programmes is coming across the ones that have autographs, I know there are a fair few autograph hunters out there who can easily identify who made the squiggle, personally I haven’t got a clue unless its literally in plain text! I have been tweeting and asking a couple of contacts I have if they know whats what, and so far I’ve managed to identify a few but there are far more uploaded to the site I’m yet to try and identify!

The programmes that have squiggles I have managed to add an annotation to easily identify them, its a little bit crude and I am trying to make the annotations as discreet as I can but I feel its worth having that information on the site. See below a couple of examples I have managed to add a note to. All the links are included for a closer look!

Brian McClair testimonial, If it is Brian who signed it, he was clearly in a rush, to me it looks like someone has tried to get their pen to work! Any clues who signed this programme kindly let me know!

Manchester United v Celtic – 15th of April 1997 – Brian McClair Testimonial – 2-1 – Signed 

The Tennent Sixes, all but two have been identified, if you can identify them, please get in touch!

Tennent Sixes – 24th & 25th of January 1993 – Signatures – Benny Rooney, Gerry Creaney, Tom Boyd, Brian O’Neill, Mark McNally, Barry Smith, John Collins, Chris Morris. Two unidentified, please check page 10.

This one is far easier and I could make out two of the three but wasn’t 100% sure until confirmed, a fixture versus Hibernian from 1969. 

Celtic v Hibernian – 13th of September 1969 – 1-2 – Signed by Peter Lorimer, Peter Cormack & Pat Stanton

My spare time is often taken up digging through piles of programmes, I scour each programme with interest in the advertising of the time, the different styles, the language used and how its has changed throughout the decades.

Apart from the fixtures and the history surrounding each one,  I am drawn to the styles of advertising and writing and some of the advertising I think is brilliant, being in the print industry I am always looking at older styles of advertising and printing techniques and also how advertising and marketing is evolving. My favourite period of programmes are the 1960’s and particularly the 1970’s European fixtures, clearly modern printing techniques are far more advanced and have a far more varied finish to them, maybe it is the simplicity of this era I like most, personally I still don’t feel this era has been bettered.

With advertising in mind what did stand out like a sore thumb was an advert in a Rangers v Celtic programme from the mid 90’s. With Rangers sweeping all aside on the way to what they hoped would be 10 in a row, I came across an advert that in my eyes was very risky and looking at it now I don’t feel you would get it published. I’m not sure at the time this would have been acceptable but I cant say what kind of reception this advert received. Somebody unfortunately has given this the OK! click the video below to see what’s inside.

Well that’s 18 hours of uploading complete and to be honest I’m sick of it! I’ve had to walk away from my desk a few times to re-focus, I’ve got square eyes and a sore back but there’s light at the end of the tunnel, the cups of coffee consumed counter is very accurate! The upload is now complete and is made up of 381 programmes, which includes away fixtures, testimonials and friendlies, which brings the total amount of programmes to 1331, and brings the total amount of pages scanned to 40930! The next upload will bring the site towards 2000 programmes which is great progress.

The years uploaded are:

1960, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07.

There are a few programmes I need assistance with as they have signatures from various players from various fixtures, most of which I have no idea who they are! What id like to do is have them identified, I have put ‘Signatures’ next to the programmes that have them, one being Peter Grant’s testimonial below, page 40:

https://celticmatchday.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/22ND-JANUARY-1997.pdf

If you can identify the signatures please let me know so I can annotate the programme.

On another note I have been in contact with a ticket collector called John who has kindly offered to scan his ticket collection to then be shared on the site in line with the programmes, I feel it will be a great addition to the site. He has been collecting tickets for the past five years and has tickets from the 1970’s to date and these will soon be added for you to view.