Classic Programme – Falmouth Town AFC v Holsworthy FC
Scott Knowles gives us his latest article in his excellent Classic Programmes series.
Long before his involvement in the capture and subsequent success of the Olympic games in London made him the Tory it was sort of okay to like, Sebastian Coe had another post-Athletic role in sport – as president of Falmouth Town A.F.C. I know this because the first page of the programme for their league match against Holsworthy during the 1993/94 season is adorned with a picture of his unconvincingly happy face.
It’s the classic politician photo (Coe had been elected as Member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne in 1992) – head slightly tilted, missionary-position-only hair style, false smile etched across the lower half of his face, eyes barely disguising contempt for humanity.. it’s no wonder he has been so successful within the Conservative party.
Any Falmouth supporter who turned up on a whim to Bickland Park on Saturday the 16th of October 1993 would have struggled to discover exactly who the home side were facing just from reading the programme. It takes until page twelve before any mention of the opposition are made (described as “one of the League’s friendliest clubs” – such kindness explained further down the page where the record between the two teams shows that out of twenty four meetings Falmouth had won twenty and only lost two). The first six pages read more like a Thompsons directory than literature from a football game with non-stop advertisements plastered across them. The final ten pages pull the same trick meaning that actual content on offer is slim pickings indeed. My personal favourite of the adverts, for anyone interested, is one for ‘Atlantic Video’ which, as you might guess, stocks the “latest video releases” before going on to list other wares purchasable which begin with the entirely reasonable (papers, magazines) before listing increasingly obscure objects so that by the end they are desperately trying to offload “car parts” on you.
A recurring theme within this column so far has been the humorously Roy of the Rovers style names that knocked around the Non League game ‘back in the day’ and this latest offering doesn’t disappoint. There is the brilliantly titled defender Paddy Scrace (a name that immediately conjures up images of beefy jawlines and knee-high tackles), the rather flamboyant Grenville Pope, and a name-check for former Holsworthy player Roy Cobbledick. They simply do not make them like that anymore.
Aside from using Seb Coe as an excuse for some cheap Tory bashing the other main reason I chose to include this for my Classic Programme series was the bizarre and mildy disturbing decision to dedicate a whole page to a poor quality photograph that is captioned – Falmouth Town Fan Club 1974 Season – but could just have easily come from Jimmy Savile’s private collection.
The picture contains seven schoolgirls lined up in what seems to be a desolate wasteland area wearing expressions that range from brave smiles to barely concealed terror. Each girl adopts a similar pose with hands behind their backs – presumably because they were either handcuffed or shackled together in some way. No explanation is made as to why it was decided a near twenty year old snapshot of a group of young girls was suitable for inclusion in a programme for a Jewson South Western League clash .. I can only imagine it was an inventive way of increasing crowds amongst Falmouths vibrant sex offending community.
Rumours that Gary Glitter and Pete Townsend were regular guests of Lord Coe in the corporate box are completely fabricated. By me. Just now.