Matchday programmes dating back to 1934 are being preserved for future generations of Montrose FC fans in a new book.
Montrose FC historian Steve Doyle said his book, which features over 2,000 programmes, illustrates the advances in technology and quality over the decades.
Steve’s book includes home programmes from 1955 to 2021 and away programmes from 1934 and is now available for fans to purchase by mail order.
Programmes for several Scottish clubs exist from before the Second World War but routine issuing by most began when paper rationing ended in the post-war era.
The very first Montrose home programme was on August 20 1955 when the club regained entry back into the Scottish Football League.
Steve said: “Why do such a book on such a small football club many people might ask?
“It is unlikely to sell many copies, but that is not the point in my opinion.
“As the Montrose FC historian I just feel that recording history is so important and having researched all the clubs’ competitive results since formation in 1879 to produce the previous book to this one I know now just how difficult it was to obtain all the information.
“A great deal of other information I would have liked to include and record for posterity simply was not recorded at the time or has become ‘lost’ in the mists of time.
“Even stuff which I found online has since disappeared so it’s a good job I put what I did into print.
“Yes, we must be grateful for online recording these days and I might be in the minority but I feel that recording history with the written word is more likely to stand the test of time.
“It is just as well that fans like me and Alex Stewart, whose help is greatly appreciated, kept all our programmes since 1955, but even now I think we still are missing at least two from the 1950’s and it could well be that what history was in them will be lost forever.
“Since 1955 Montrose along with many other clubs started to issue programmes which not only record results but also lists of club officials, statistics, player detail and much more.
“There is a trend at present by some football clubs to cease issuing hard copy programmes and simply do an online version or nothing at all.
“At Montrose we are very much a community club and it is not just a football match programme it is also a means of communication with the town.
“Not forgetting fans of other clubs, this history of programmes tells not just Montrose fans what was issued and what was not but it will also be a good guide for fans of other clubs as well because they too will have many collectors who will be unsure if a certain programme was or was not issued – even a home one from their own club!”
To celebrate Steve has selected 21 classic programmes going all the way back to 1936 which enjoy a special place in the club’s 142-year history.
1936-37 St Bernards away
The oldest programme for a game featuring Montrose except for a similar one against the same opponents in 1933-34 but which is not in a good enough condition to display.
1947-48 Kilmarnock away
A ‘rare ‘Killie Blue’ programme for a ‘C’ Division game and the first time I ever went to a Montrose game was at the same venue in 1949.
1947-48 Celtic away
The first ‘big’ cup game featuring Montrose and for which a programme was issued.
1952-53 Aberdeen away
A ‘C’ Division game at the only SPFL ground I’ve yet to see Montrose play on excluding new grounds we’ve yet to play on such as St Mirren stadium and Kelty Hearts.
1952-53 Hearts away
This was a big away day for me in the Scottish Cup. Previous visits to Tynecastle were for ‘C’ division games against Hearts Reserves.
1955-56 Dumbarton home
The first ever Montrose home programme but it was midweek and I was at school!
1955-56 Third Lanark home
The first Montrose home programme for a league game and it was on a Saturday so was my first ever visit to Links Park. It was also the first home league game since elevation to the SFL in 1955.
1960-61 Celtic away
Another big Cup game for Montrose and an odd fact is that although Celtic are a team Montrose have never played in a SFL/SPFL game they are the team Montrose have been drawn against most times in the Scottish Cup (excluding replays).
1960-61 QoS away
This was a very special day for me and one which cemented my love of Montrose forever. We lost 4-1 but our goal came in the last minute and as a young lad I was the only one in the ground who cheered that goal. At the final whistle the Mo manager Norman ‘Norrie’ Christie walked down the touchline, shook my hand and apologised for our poor display. He didn’t need to do that but Norrie was a remarkable man and the Mo are a remarkable club.
1972-73 Stranraer away
Brian Third scored all six Montrose goals in a game I’ll never forget. The club lost touch with Brian for many years but after many years of searching I found him and we’ve been good friends ever since re-connecting him with the Montrose FC ‘family.’
1975-76 Hibernian home
The Les Barr game when he hit a wind assisted 60 yard goal to put Montrose into a Hampden semi-final against treble winners Rangers.
1975-76 Rangers at Hampden
An unforgettable night at Hampden with Montrose leading well into the second half of the League Cup semi-final.
1975-76 Hearts home
Still in a golden season Montrose faced Hearts in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup and were 90 seconds from victory. It took three games for Hearts to finally win the tie and but for those added 90 seconds in the first game it is highly likely Montrose would have qualified for the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
1985-86 Forfar Athletic home
Front cover with captain Chic McLelland presented with our first SFL championship in 84-85. Looking on is a proud Mr Montrose himself, Willie Johnston. Both men are now deceased but will remain in the Montrose FC ‘family’ forever.
1986-87 Hearts away
The night when wee Montrose went to Tynecastle in the League Cup and ended the unbeaten home record of Hearts which had lasted over a year. Unforgettable scenes.
1994-95 Dunfermline home
A dark era for Montrose with only a brief promotion at QoS to celebrate but the front cover of the 94-95 season’s programme meant a lot to me. It featured the original (since demolished) South Esk bridge which always reminded me of my first ever visit to Links Park in 1955.
2013-14 Clyde home
Brian Third after we found him – with the ball he scored six with at Stranraer 40 years previously. Magical nostalgic moment for both of us.
2014-15 Brora Rangers home
The SPFL very first pyramid play-off. Montrose were only 10 minutes from relegation to the Highland League until big Marvin Andrews equalised then Gary Wood scored a screamer into the top corner in the dying moments of the game. From that moment Montrose have made giant strides to ensure no repeat of that day.
2017-18 East Fife home
Champions for the second time in our SFL/SPFL history in 2016-17 and the front cover shows a happy club captain and manager with the trophy.
2019-20 Peterhead home
Progress at Montrose continues with manager and player each being voted as monthly winners in League 1. We at the Mo waited many years for moments like those.
2020-21 Partick Thistle home
A programme from the season just gone and features Ronnie Marquis our long serving groundsman, kit man, and everything else man around Links Park. Every club needs such loyalty and Ronnie is such a man and much appreciated by us all at Links Park.
The History of Montrose Football Club programmes is available now from Montrose FC by mail order for £15 plus £3 postage and packing.