Each month we take a look at an
Albion ‘programme from the past’. A number of the programmes will be rarities, allowing a much wider audience to view them, perhaps for the very first time.
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion,
Football League Jubilee Benevolent Fund,
Villa Park, Saturday 20th August 1938
With the first clash of the season with Villa looming on the
horizon, this month’s featured programme comes from a clash some 75 years ago.
The Football League Jubilee Benevolent Fund was launched in
1938, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Football League. The fund was
created to provide help to current and former players as well as officials who
were suffering difficulties. The fund also was put in place to provide
educational and vocational training for players.
Prior to the start of the 1938/39 season fundraising games
were arranged for all of the 88 clubs that at the time made up the Football
League. Where possible, clubs faced their nearest rivals meaning that
Albion would face Aston Villa.
League status wasn’t accounted for when the fixtures were made, Albion were
about to start their fourth stint in the Second Division whilst Villa had just
won promotion back into the First Division after two seasons at the lower level.
The game took place at
Villa Park on August 20, 1938,
one week before the start of the league season. An impressive crowd of 26,640
fans witnessed a 1-1 draw between the old rivals, Harry Jones scoring for the
Baggies and Frank Broome for the hosts.
The two teams lined up for the game with the following sides:
Aston Villa: Biddlestone, Cummings, Callaghan,
Iverson, Allen, Massie, Houghton, Starling, Shell, Haycock, Broome.
Albion: Adams, Bassett,
Shaw, Sankey, Davies, McNab, Hoyland, Heaselgrave, Jones, Burgin, Johnson.
The following season saw the teams meet again at
Villa Park in aid of the Jubilee
Fund, and again the game ended in a 1-1 draw. This time William ‘G’ Richardson
was on the score sheet for the Baggies whilst Eric Houghton notched for Villa.
Perhaps the most notable feature
of this game was the fact that the
Albion players wore numbers on their shirts for the very first
With the Second World War just
weeks away it would be the last time such matches would be held although the
fund does still exist to this day.
The programme for the 1938 game was a generic issue with the
same one on sale at all Jubilee Fund games around the country. Only the centre
pages, which listed the line-ups and officials as well a brief look at the two
clubs' previous meetings, were different.
Like those covering the other games, it is rarely seen for
sale nowadays and when a copy does appear you can expect to pay at least £100
View the complete programme for the game here