For nearly forty years, Terry Taylor has held the keys to Aladdins Cave – assuming that Aladdin was a rabid Notts County supporter and Forest memorabilia hoarder. His shop, Programme World, on Arkwright Street, is still a beacon of footballing archaeology…
So what sucked you into the world of football memorabilia?
I opened a shop on Arkwright Street in 1971 called Soccer City, selling football badges and rings. Then I started making leather keyrings in the shop, which I still do today. I’ve collected football memorabilia since I was a lad – I’ve been watching Notts County since 1954, and I always used to tuck the programme down me shirt to keep it dry and flat. There was a bloke who used to sell programmes outside, and one day he asked if he could leave a thousand or so in the shop to keep ‘em out the rain. I let him do that all season. Come May, he told me he was retiring, and he put me in touch with the printers. I went down there and asked if I could have his pitch.
You were in a prime location, on the old Arkwright Street…
It was brilliant, then. You could get anything from a bag of chips to a motorcar on Arkwright Street. Fans used to come past here in droves on a Saturday – whether it was up one way for Forest or the other way for County. And then Mr Clough came to Forest, and I remember telling Sue, my wife; “Now we’ll make money.” And it all snowballed from there. We ended up opening Programme World a couple of doors down, before I merged ‘em together. We used to be busy even during the off-season.
What was your relationship with the clubs back then? Did you need permission to sell programmes?
I always used to deal with the printers, not the clubs. Forest couldn’t care less in those days, until they realised how much money was involved and they opened a club shop across the road from Viccy Centre. Back in the day when Forest were in the League Cup final every year, they used to put tokens in the programmes that you had to collect to get a Cup Final ticket. And we made a lot of money selling those programmes on to people who were missing tokens. In the end I was cutting the tokens out, and just selling them for a pound each.
As for Notts, I was well in with them at the time. I used to do their souvenirs and I knew Jimmy Sirrel, Jack Wheeler…all of ‘em. I actually printed up the official programme for the County/Forest A-team game for the club, which was Trevor Francis’ debut after he’d signed for a million pounds. I even sold tickets for County games here; in 1975, Man United came to County, and they gave me 300 tickets to sell, because by law they couldn’t sell them at the ground on the day. That was the day Man U won the Second Division, and the away supporters absolutely trashed Meadow Lane.
The shop was always heaving on a match day. You must have done alright out of it.
I made more then than I do now. I’d take £300 on match day programmes alone – when they only cost 20p each. It was an absolute boom time for football programmes: people were starting to realise that football had a history and a heritage, and they wanted to buy into that.
As a County man through and through, how galling was it that you spent most of your time in the boom years going around Europe with Forest on their cup runs and snapping up programmes?
Not at all. I loved every minute of it. And a lot of the time, the away programmes were given away free by the clubs. I got some right stick off Chris Ashley of Radio Trent for flogging Cologne-Forest programmes for three quid each, but I had to go there to fetch ‘em. It cost me a fortune! It didn’t bother me that it was Forest having all the glory, I love football. If it had been Derby, on the other hand…
And are the actual European Cup programmes worth a fortune now?
No, they’re not. I’ve got thousands of ‘em. Remember, the clubs were printing thousands of copies, and everyone kept ‘em. League Cup final programmes are even worse; there were about 100,000 people there, and there was probably 180,000 programmes printed. They’re worth three quid nowadays.
What local programmes fetch the most cash. then?
If you’re talking County, it’s the FA Cup 3rd round game against Sunderland here, and the replay at Roker Park in the 72-73 season. I’ve seen them go for up to £120 each. As for Forest, it’s the away programmes for their Fairs Cup runs in the sixties, which is now the Europa League – Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Zurich, and especially Valencia in 1961; that one goes for big money.
So it’s the really old stuff, not the glory years.
I’ve had people ring me up and say; “I’ve got loads of old programmes, from the 80s”. They’re not old, mate! Properly old stuff, from the forties to the mid-sixties - now we’re talking. People didn’t keep programmes then – they’d put ‘em over their heads when it rained, folded ‘em into quarters, or chuck ‘em.
What’s your own collection like?
It’s about 5,000 Notts programmes, badges and team photos, along with FA Cup and League Cup finals and England games going back to the forties. It’ll all go to my lad when he dies.
So what’s your personal Holy Grail of proggies?
Notts County played Man United reserves at Old Trafford in 1958. Nowt to do with the Munich disaster - County had been knocked out the FA Cup and didn’t have a game that weekend. I’ve seen it, but never been able to get it. A single teamsheet. Worth £40-£50.
Are you going to wind down anytime soon?
Well, I’m 64 now, and I’ve had enough. But I’ll always be involved in football until they take me out of here in a box. It’s my life.
New season, then: what’s gonna happen?
I just hope County hold their own. I’ve heard some people say we’re going up again, but I’d be happy with mid-table and let Shorty build for the future. We’ve got some good players, and we’re pulling in a few more.
So what did you think of the County takeover last season?
I thought Munto were a total joke from the start, and the FA should have looked into ‘em from the beginning. I blame the FA for a lot of it, sanctioning a takeover where they promised the earth and took money out.
And what about Forest?
What about 'em? (laughs)
Programme World, 5a Arkwright Street, NG2 2JR
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