In the event, Manchester United did not need a replay to achieve the glory of their first European Cup. Indeed, the first European Cup won by an English club.
But if the 1968 final against Benfica had ended in a draw instead of a 4-1 win at Wembley after extra time, it would have been replayed at Arsenal’s home ground of Highbury on May 31 – just two days later.
A rare programme printed for that possibility came up for auction at Graham Budd’s sale on February 7 estimated at £3000-4000. Part of a single-owner collection of football ephemera and programmes, it sold for £7500 (plus 24% buyer’s premium).
These days the number of subs allowed seems to increase every season. In 1968, as the programme notes, ‘an injured goalkeeper may be replaced at any time in the match – no other substitutes are allowed’. The teams given on p8-9 reflect this with 11 names each and just the alternative goalie noted.
None of those penalties to decide after deadlock, either. The programme also said: ‘If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes’ extra time will be played. If there is still no decision the winners, according to European Cup rules, will be determined by lots, drawn by the referee on the field in the presence of both captains.’
First European game
Sold for £3800 (estimate £1600-1800) at Budd was a Manchester United programme for their first match in the European Cup, one of the most sought-after programmes for collectors. It was played away at RSC Anderlecht of Brussels, on September 12, 1956, with United winning 2-0.
United were the first English club to take part in European competition. They won the return leg 10-0 at Maine Road on September 26, a result that remains the club’s biggest victory of all time.
Dennis Viollet and Tommy Taylor scored in the first leg; Viollet netted four goals in the second, Taylor got a hat-trick, Liam Whelan bagged a double and Johnny Berry another.
The games took place the season before the Munich air crash. Whelan and Taylor were two of the victims.
Wartime shake up
Taking £4400 – 11 times the top estimate – was a New Brighton AFC v Manchester United match programme, from wartime, May 18, 1940, with horizontal and vertical folds.
The original New Brighton AFC founded in 1921, based on The Wirral, were members of the Football League from 1923-51, playing 21 seasons in Division 3 North.
The normal football league programme was abandoned due to outbreak of war. Travelling distances and attendances were restricted. In the first season of the Wartime League 1939-40, 10 divisions were established.
This programme, costing one penny, refers to Football League Regional Competition (Western Section) which featured 12 teams.