Hundreds of historic Leeds United programmes from Elland Road donated to Leeds museum

A selection will become a permanent addition to the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection, with the rest being passed to the West Yorkshire Archives Service.

The collection includes hundreds of match programmes, pennants and trading cards from the 1960s to the present day.

More than half a century of incredible moments from Leeds United at Elland Road have been documented through match programmes and memorabilia, and now a super fan collection of old and new programmes are going to become a public display of the city’s sporting heritage.

A huge collection was recently handed over to the city’s museums service, where it is now being carefully catalogued and documented as part of a project exploring key moments in Leeds’s unique sporting story.

Image: Leeds City Council

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Donated by a family of lifelong fans, highlights of the impressive collection include a programme from the club’s memorable Champions League semi-final first leg clash with Spanish giants Valencia in May 2001. The tie finished 0-0, with David O’Leary’s young side going on to suffer a heart-breaking 3-0 defeat in the second leg, missing out on a place in the final.

Football fans will also be excited to see a historic matchday programme from the club’s January 1969 meeting with arch-rivals Manchester United in the collection. The season saw Leeds win the First Division title for the first time in the club’s history.

Other notable inclusions are the programme from the December 2011 game with Millwall, the first home match following the tragic death of club legend Gary Speed, and a programme from a friendly with Ajax in 1977 which was played as part of the Silver Jubilee.

Image: Leeds City Council

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds United have been such a massive and integral part of the city’s story for more than a century, and each new generation of fans have had their own experiences and memories of this extraordinary club.

“It’s wonderful to see the club’s heritage being preserved as part of our museums collection and to know that sport is being celebrated for the vitally important role it plays in life in Leeds.”

Amy Thraves-Connor has been working on a placement with Leeds Museums and Galleries, examining the past, present and future of sport in Leeds and how sport is represented in the city’s museums collection.

Image: Leeds City Council

Amy said: “There’s so much history there and it’s been fascinating to see how so many different elements of the club’s story have been captured in these programmes – it’s such an impressive collection and almost like a time capsule.

“Some of my favourites were the programmes which looked at the Rainbow Laces campaign and those which had some powerful anti-racism messages. From those you can see what an important part football plays in society as well as in sport.”

Once the programmes have been catalogued, a selection will become a permanent addition to the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection, with the rest being passed to the West Yorkshire Archives Service.

Image: Leeds City Council

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An exhibition on sport and play is also currently being planned for Abbey House Museum next year.

Feature Image- Leeds City Council

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