Peskett’s annual piece – A brief guide to the Daily Mail Football Guide

Posted: 24th August 2017

The Daily Mail Football Guide was published between 1950/51 and 1974/75 in 25 editions.

These issues included 2, at the end of the run, where the annuals were identical to their predecessors except for the name; they were now called the Weekend Football Guide.

The Daily Mail Football Guide was one of the many annuals launched in the post war football boom to tap into the expanding interest in football as things got back to normal across the nation.

From start to finish, the guide was edited by Roy Peskett, an icon of Fleet Street football journalists in the post war era.

Peskett was a well know figure in the industry and was a co-founder of the Football Writers Association whose Footballer of the Year award survives to this day.

As well as working for many years on the Daily Mail and editing the Daily Mail Football Guide, Peskett wrote books about football (and cricket) and was a major contributor to the football ephemera of Crystal Palace, writing a much respected history of the club and a regular article in the club’s match day programme, called Peskett’s piece, hence the claim in the post’s title, with a slightly adjusted version of those words, that the Daily Mail Football Guide was Peskett’s annual piece.

Indeed it was, for 25 editions and Roy Peskett produced his annual piece on behalf of the Daily Mail including the annuals for 1973/74 and 1974/75 as just noted, which were called the Weekend Football Guide.

These last 2 annuals in the run were identical to the 23 predecessors other than the name. They were edited by Peskett and published by Associated Newspapers Group Limited, the publishers of the Daily Mail and all its associated publications, including the Football Guide.

In producing their own football guide, the Daily Mail was following a long tradition of newspapers, whether national or regional, in publishing their own annual to help build loyalty to their newspaper amongst readers.

When the guide was launched, the Daily Mail was broadsheet size. Indeed, I remember spreading the pages out on our kitchen table in the 1960’s to read the football and cricket reports and scores after I’d discovered both sports. By the time the annual finished its life, the newspaper had been revamped as a tabloid in a look and editorial feel more similar to today’s incarnation of the paper.

Over the life of the guide, there was an absence of consistent branding with the various components of the guide’s design changing back and forth.

Overall, the guide’s size can be described as pocket size but slightly larger than many of the traditional pocket annuals which football enthusiasts had been used to.

However, over the life of the guide, it’s size alternated between that larger size and smaller size. The guide also expanded, shrunk and expanded again in number of pages beginning with 128, going up to 168, then returning to 128 and finishing at 228 for the last edition.

The design of the front cover also changed shifting from line drawings without action to real action photographs of players in action and then back to line drawings of action.

Like most annuals, the forward to the first issue of the annual outlined the aims of the guide talking about how the publication would look forward to the season ahead whilst looking back and enjoying the details of the season just finished.

The first 8 editions of the guide included a forward and this was written by the Chief Sports Editor of the Daily Mail, initially, C.J. Metcalfe and then for 2 editions, Pat Reekie.

From the 1958/59 issue, in the absence of a forward, the content started with Roy Peskett’s review which up until that point had followed on from the forward.

In his comments, initially called Soccer Review, Peskett gave his perspective on the state of the game and commented on a variety of issues current in the game at the time. Looking back, these provide an interesting diary of issues in the game and how the authorities, clubs, players and media viewed them and reacted to them.

Peskett covered such topics as the role of television broadcasting, admission prices, transfer fees, player wages, floodlights and a subject under much debate, the structure of the league including the number and composition of the divisions.

After mentioning what he viewed as the main issues of the day, Peskett then gave a review of the previous season across the 4 divisions of the Football League. He also commented on the England team.

In the early editions, Daily Mail journalist, W.M Gall gave his review of the Scottish football scene.

The content of the annual remained consistent throughout the guide’s life including all the sort of details usually included in pocket annuals. There was an emphasis on the F.A. Cup and the 4 divisions of the Football League, the league and cups in Scotland and the World Cup. The international matches of the home nations were also featured. As the years passed, additions to the content reflected the additions to the game, including the European Championships and also the new European club competitions beginning with the European Cup in 1955/56.

The amateur / non league game was featured as well with many of the lower leagues included in a section on league tables Back then, these leagues operated independently of each other and it would be a few years after the guide stopped that the idea of a connected non league pyramid would come into existence. But these leagues did include the ones which made up A.F.A football including the Southern Amateur League, one I played in for 5 years in the late 1970’s for North West London club, Winchmore Hill. The Welsh leagues were included in this section too after a few years.

As far as visuals were concerned, the early editions of the guide through the 1950’s included a selection of action shots from league and cup games. There was usually a photograph of the F.A. Cup winners receiving their trophy or a meber of the Royal family being introduced to the participating players.

From 1961/62 for 4 editions, the guide included a team photo section showing the successful sides from the previous season. From the 1965/66 edition onwards, other than a small head shot photograph of Roy Peskett, the guide did not include any photos at all, except for the final 1974/75 edition of the guide, now the Weekend Football Guide where a number of images where shown.

When looking at the issue of collecting the guides, as with many similar titles, many of the editions are available today in the usual places for a few pounds. Interestingly, unlike some titles, the early 1950’s issues are easier to find and the issues from the mid 1960’s onwards are more difficult to acquire.

In my own collection, I’ve yet to acquire the issues for 1966/67 and also the one for 1968/69, so apologies for the gaps in the visuals in the list of annuals below.

Let’s have a look at the guides decade by decade and within each decade, year by year.

 

1950’s – Launch and early years

For the first decade of the guide’s life, the content was consistent although aspects of design, format and size changed.

The covers had a a variety of images; the guide was stapled initially and then bound; and in terms of size, the guide was the same size until the 9th edition when it changed to a smaller size and a year later, it changed back again to the size it was before.

These aspects aside, for the reader, the guide provided comprehensive coverage of the areas of the game you would expect to find in such an annual.

 

1.1950/51

The first edition of the guide looked back at the 1949/50 season.

In a forward written by G.C. Metcalfe, the Daily Mail Sports Editor, the aims of the guide were outlined whilst promoting the Daily Mail’s football coverage.

In his Soccer Review, Roy Peskett gave readers a summary of the previous season which saw Portsmouth winning the 1st Division and Arsenal winning the F.A. Cup. Roy reviewed the story in all divisions of the Football League and this was followed by a section on the Scottish Leagues.

There were a few photos featuring action and players from the successful teams. There was one including the King shaking hands with Arsenal’s Denis Compton with captain Joe Mercer looking on prior to the 1950 F.A. Cup Final in which the Gunners beat Liverpool 2-0;

All the usual features of established annuals were included for the previous season’s football in England and Scotland. These included full tables and results of league matches, details of the F.A. Cup, details and records international matches played by the home nations.

Roy Peskett looked back at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil where England lost surprisingly to the United States.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1950/51 season.

Stapled, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

2. 1951/52

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1950/51 season.

Again, C.J. Metcalfe’s forward to the guide promoted the content of this 2nd edition whilst emphasising the work of Roy Peskett and his team at the Daily Mail and their coverage of football for the up and coming season both in England and Scotland.

In his Soccer Review, Roy Peskett made some comments on players pay which are fascinating considering where the game has come to over 55 years later. In modern times, we have experienced the first instances of players being paid over £500,000 a week and Peskett made the point, almost a warning, that in England, a weekly wage of £20 was on the horizon. Of course, these were the days where a maximum wage was enforced and the game had not been freed up from regulation to become pray to market forces and large scale revenues driven by the sale of TV rights and the deep pockets of investors.

The rest of the guide included content similar to the features, tables and records in the first edition highlighting Tottenham Hotspur’s 1st Division title.

There was a good selection of photos with another image of the King handing over the F.A. Cup, this time to captain of Newcastle United, Joe Harvey, after his team had beaten Blackpool 2-0 in the final;

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1951/52 season.

Stapled, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

3. 1952/53

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1951/52 season.

In the forward, again written by G.C. Metcalfe, he emphasised the attraction of English football to overseas fans. A friendly between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in Canada had attracted a crowd of over 25,000.

Although the details may have been different, Roy Peskett’s Soccer Review focused on issues which we are still debating today including admission prices and the role of broadcasting. Peskett also confirmed that proposals for a 4 up and 4 down promotion / relegation system had been rejected by the clubs.

The 1951/52 season which saw Manchester United winning the 1st Division title and Newcastle United winning the F.A. Cup again, was reviewed, as in previous editions.

There was another photo of Joe Harvey with the Cup for the 2nd year running;

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

Roy Peskett featured Wolves’ Billy Wright.

Peter Doherty wrote a tribute to Sunderland’s Raich Carter.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1952/53 season.

Stapled, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

4. 1953/54

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1952/53 season.

C.J. Metcalfe’s forward highlighted the ‘Matthews’ F.A. Cup Final and there was the first view of the new Queen Elizabeth II alongside the F.A.’s Stanley Rous, handing Blackpool’s Harry Johnston the Cup after their 4-3 win over Bolton Wanderers;

In his review of the season, Roy Peskett mentioned Arsenal‘s struggles to win the 1st Division but also featured the tragic case of Sheffield Wednesday’s Derek Dooley who had to have a leg amputated after a collision, an almost unthinkable occurrence then, let alone now.

Financial difficulties for many clubs were emphasised in the review of Scottish football.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

England’s tour of South America was covered by Roy Peskett.

The section including league tables for the amateur game contained the Southern Amateur League which I was fortunate to play in for Winchmore Hill in the late 1970’s. Interestingly, the Hillians ended up in mid table in 1952/53, the same place we ended up in during the 5 seasons I played at the club.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1953/54 season.

Stapled, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

5. 1954/55

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1953/54 season.

C.J. Metcalfe’s forward mentioned a new feature for the guide. This was a 3 page colour chart of all the strips which were used by the 92 league clubs.

Roy Peskett’s review of the season focused on clubs from the Midlands where Wolves won the 1st Division and West Bromwich Albion won the F.A. Cup.

At the F.A Cup Final between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion, it was the turn of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother to attend the match and to meet the players. Here, Baggies’ captain Len Millard introduces her to Frank Griffin;

There was also the first mention of an evolving young side under Matt Busby at Manchester United. The ‘Babes’ as they became known played exciting football and helped the Red Devils rise up the table after a poor start to the season.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The section on amateur / minor league tables was extended further including some leagues which would now be at Step 6 or 7 of the non league pyramid.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1954/55 season.

Now bound as opposed to being stapled, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

6. 1955/56

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1954/55 season.

Pat Reekie was a new Sports Editor at the Daily Mail and he wrote the forward to the guide in which he mentioned the continued reduction in attendances since the War.

In Roy Peskett’s season review, he emphasised how the proposal to reduce the number of clubs in the league had been rejected whilst the admission price for league games had been increased.

Clubs continued to be very negative about allowing television coverage of matches fearing further reductions in attendances, an interesting situation when we consider the role of television now in how the game is covered.

Interestingly, a proposal for players to be paid bonuses for floodlit matches had also been rejected.

There was also a proposal for a new national stadium to be built away from Wembley which it was acknowledged was showing signs of wear. As we know, it would take another few decades before this issue was resolved with the construction of the new Wembley in the early years of the 21st century.

Roy Peskett covered England’s Summer tour and all the usual features, facts and figures on the previous season were included in the guide.

Chelsea had won the 1st Division Championship for the first time and Newcastle United won the F.A. Cup beating Manchester City whose goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann can be seen here catching a shot;

In Scotland, there would be a small expansion to the number of clubs in the 2 divisions of the league for the new season.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

Amongst the photos in the guide was one showing Bristol Rovers using what were called ‘foreign’ training methods.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1955/56 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

7. 1956/57

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1955/56 season.

In the forward, again written by Pat Reekie, he emphasised the increased number of floodlit friendlies now scheduled as a result of an increasing number of clubs erecting lights at their grounds.

In the main photo, Blackpool’s Sir Stanley Matthews is shown receiving an award from the Brazilian Football Federation for his services to football;

In Roy Peskett’s review, he also noted floodlit matches and how these were not going to be treated differently as had been suggested previously (one proposal was to pay players more for night games). Peskett was also critical of the authorities’ unwillingness to consider reorganisation of the league structure and the continuation of the re-election process whereby non league clubs were finding it almost impossible to get into the Football League.

The season review focused on all the successful clubs including Manchester United who won the 1st Division title and Manchester City who won the F.A. Cup.

In a situation which we would never see now with extra time and penalty shoot-outs firmly established in our cup competitions, Chelsea and Burnley had taken 5 matches to complete their F.A. Cup 5th Round tie.

England’s continental tour was also covered during which they played matches against Sweden, Finland and Germany.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

There was also an article written by Fulham’s Chairman Tommy Trinder which attempted to sell the idea of expanded television coverage for matches, a development which most of the clubs were resisting strongly at the time.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1956/57 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

8. 1957/58

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1956/57 season.

In Pat Reekie’s forward, he highlighted the 1958 World Cup Finals due to take place at the end of the season in Sweden. He also mentioned the upcoming first international between England and Russia.

The main photograph showed Matt Busby leading out his Manchester United team which had won the league and reached the F.A. Cup Final where with 10 men, after Ray Wood’s injury, they would be runners-up to Aston Villa. In the saddest of ironies, within a year, the heart of this side would be decimated by the Munich air disaster;

With attendances down again, Roy Peskett re-stated his view that television should be kept at arms length from league games as it was feared that more coverage would cannibalise attendances and continue that downward trend. Interestingly, considering the negativity with which some would receive the League Cup competition launched a short while in the future, Peskett called the idea of an event played on midweek evenings under floodlights a drab prospect.

All the usual features from previous editions were included providing a record of matches and competitions in England and Scotland.

The guide featured the World Cup preliminary match results.

There was an International Who’s Who section included in which details of al the current international players of the home nation teams.

There were also details of the still new European Cup included, focusing on Manchester United’s progress in the competition.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1957/58 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long.

 

9. 1958/59

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1957/58 season.

This edition was the first one without a forward.

However, Roy Peskett again wrote his season review and this included details of an increase to the players’ maximum wage. Also, sadly, Peskett had to write about the Munich air disaster. He also wrote about the new 4th division which changed the structure of the divisions in the football league where previously, there had been a two 3rd Divisions, one North and one South.

The usual features on the previous season were included where Wolves had won the 1st Division and Bolton Wanderers had beaten a Manchester United team ravaged by the disaster at Munich.

The 1958 World Cup, won by Brazil was covered.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1958/59 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long but in a slight smaller size than the previous editions.

 

10. 1959/60

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1958/59 season.

Wolves and England captain, Billy Wright had achieved his 100th cap and the main photo was of Wright and later in the guide, there was also a feature covering all the matches where he had played for England;

In Roy Peskett’s review, he covered various topics including Peterborough United’s continued inability to gain a place in the Football League despite showing excellent credentials with their performances, ground facilities and attendances in the Southern League.

Peskett also commented on Friday night football and how for the first time in a while, for the upcoming season, there would be no matches played on Christmas Day. Considering how in current times, managers complain about the number of games their teams are required to play, before 1959, there was a full league programme on Christmas Day with the reverse matches played on Boxing Day.

Also, considering the quality of pitches in modern day football, it is interesting to see Peskett’s note that Everton had used undersoil heating to make sure that a match went ahead.

Wolves had won the 1st Division title and Nottingham Forest won the F.A. Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

A new feature was a Guide to Clubs which included a summary of the key details of each one with information on when they were founded, where they played.

For all the sometimes negative comments about clubs going on post season tours in modern times, it’s interesting to see some good photos of Tottenham Hotspur‘s post season tour of Russia.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1959/60 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long and back to the same size as the pre 1958/59 editions.

 

1960’s – Expansion then rationalisation

The guide opened the decade at its larger size and longer length.

Between 1961/62 and 1964/65, the guide was published bound, as opposed to being stapled, in its smaller size but expanded its length including a good team photo section.

From the 1965/66 edition, it looks like the budget for the guide was reduced. Back to being stapled again, the team photo section was not featured again and the guide became words and figures only. Only in the final edition of the guide for 1974/75, would photos be introduced other than a small head shot image of Roy Peskett on top of his season review in each edition.

From this 1965/66 edition onwards, Roy Peskett’s season review would comment less on issues in the game and more on the performance highlights of the previous season.

 

11. 1960/61

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1959/60 season.

As well as his review of team performances across the 4 divisions of the league, Roy Peskett focused on a new system for apprentices at clubs where a structure for wages for players between the ages of 15 and 18 was agreed. Finally, Peterborough United were voted into the Football League with Gateshead falling out.

Burnley had won the 1st Division title and Wolves won the F.A. Cup.

The main photo towards the front of the guide was Wolves‘ captain, Bill Slater;

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

Peskett’s Soccer Quiz was repeated but this would be the last time, the feature was in the guide.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1960/61 season.

Bound, the guide was 128 pages long and the original size.

 

12. 1961/62

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1960/61 season.

Now bound as opposed to being stapled, the guide was increased to 168 pages long but reduced down to the smaller 1958/59 edition size.

Roy Peskett’s season review focused on Tottenham Hotspur‘s outstanding achievement at winning the League and Cup double. He also noted the new trend for British players to join Italian clubs after Jimmy Greaves, Denis Law and Joe Baker had all joined Serie A clubs. Peskett’s notes also recorded a momentous moment for players with the abolition of the maximum wage.

Aston Villa won the first League Cup and Accrington Stanley fell out of the 4th Division after 33 matches, leaving the remaining clubs to play 44, not 46 matches.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

In addition, perhaps the main content additions of this longer edition was a team photo section showing the successful sides from the previous season;

  • England (British Championship Winners)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (1st Division Champions and F.A. Cup Winners)
  • Ipswich Town (2nd Division Champions)
  • Bury (3rd Division Champions)
  • Peterborough United (4th Division Champions)
  • Leicester City (F.A. Cup Finalists)
  • Dunfermline (Scottish Cup Winners)
  • Rangers (Scottish Champions)

Another new feature was one listing all the Football League clubs and their players with appearances and goalscorers noted for the previous season.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1961/62 season.

 

13. 1962/63

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1961/62 season.

Roy Peskett mentioned the proposal to make all promotion and relegation 4-up and 4-down and another for a restructure of the league into 5 divisions of 20, one discussed again some 55 years later. Both proposals were rejected.

Oxford United had joined the League. 1st Division Champions were Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur won the F.A. Cup again and Norwich City won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide again included a team photograph section showing the successful teams from the previous season;

  • Ipswich Town (1st Division Champions)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (F.A. Cup Winners)
  • Benfica  (European Cup Winners)
  • Liverpool (2nd Division Champions)
  • Portsmouth (3rd Division Champions)
  • Millwall (4th Division Champions)
  • Dundee (Scottish Champions)
  • Rangers (Scottish Cup Winners)

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1962/63 season.

Bound, the guide was a repeat of the previous season’s edition at 168 pages and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

14. 1963/64

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1962/63 season.

Roy Peskett talked about the apathy of clubs in taking on change. The previous season’s matches had been dominated by the terrible weather which had lead to huge numbers of postponements.

After the end of the big freeze, Everton had won the 1st Division title, Manchester United had won the F.A. Cup and Birmingham City had won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide again included a team photograph section showing the successful teams from the previous season;

  • Manchester United (F.A. Cup Winners)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (European Cup Winners’ Cup Winners)
  • A.C. Milan (European Cup Winners)
  • Everton (1st Division Champions)
  • Stoke City (2nd Division Champions)
  • Northampton Town (3rd Division Champions)
  • Brentford (4th Division Champions)
  • Scotland (British Championships Winner)

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1963/64 season.

Bound, the guide was again 168 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

15. 1964/65

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1963/64 season.

Once again, Roy Peskett focused on possible changes in the game which had been discussed and rejected at the annual general meeting of the Football Association including a proposal to re-structure the league into 3 divisions with a Football Alliance beneath it. It would take over a decade before the Alliance (now the National League) was actually created although this was positioned below the 4th Division in the football pyramid when it was launched.

The rest of the guide was a repeat of previous editions including the centre section of team photos of successful sides from the 1962/63 season in which Liverpool had won the 1st Division title, West Ham United were victorious in the F.A. Cup Final and Leicester City won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

This edition although included the team photo section, although the feature would not be included in future editions which would be free of photos;

  • West Ham United (F.A. Cup Winners)
  • Liverpool (1st Division Champions)
  • Leeds United (2nd Division Champions)
  • Coventry City (3rd Division Champions)
  • Gillingham (4th Division Champions)
  • Rangers (Scottish Champions, Cup and League Cup Winners)
  • Morton (Scottish 2nd Division Champions)
  • Crook Town (F.A. Amateur Cup Winners)

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1964/65 season.

Bound, the guide was again 168 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

16.  1965/66

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1964/65 season.

From this edition, it looks like the budget for the guide was reduced. The page numbers were cut back to 128 and a significant content casualty of the reduced size of the annual was an absence of the team photo section which had been included since the 1961/62 edition.

Roy Peskett’s season review opened with a one line comment about the infamous prosecution and conviction of  a number of top footballers for match fixing, although didn’t go into any of the details. As far as the legitimate football was concerned, Manchester United won the League, Liverpool won the F.A. Cup and Chelsea won the League Cup.

Indeed, from this edition onwards, Roy Peskett’s season review would comment less on issues in the game and more on the performance highlights of the previous season.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1965/66 season.

Back to being bound, the guide was again 168 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

17. 1966/67

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1965/66 season.

Unfortunately, this edition is one that is absent from my collection.

It is likely that this issue included details of England’s 1966 World Cup win (details are not in either the previous or following issues).

As and when I acquire a copy, I’ll update this section of the post.

I’m assuming that, consistent with previous guides, this one finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1966/67 season.

 

18. 1967/68

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1966/67 season.

Roy Peskett noted the first London F.A Cup final, won by Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea, Manchester United‘s 1st Division title and the huge upset caused by Queens Park Rangers in beating 1st Division West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup Final.

The guide included the usual information about the domestic season at professional and amateur levels, the European club cup competitions and the international scene too.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1967/68 season.

Stapled again, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

19. 1968/69

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1967/68 season.

Unfortunately, this edition is another one that is absent from my collection.

As and when I acquire a copy, I’ll update this section of the post.

Again, I’m assuming that, consistent with previous guides, this one finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1968/69 season.

 

20. 1969/70

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1968/69 season.

Roy Peskett’s season review focused on Leeds United, who won the 1st Division, Manchester City, who won the F.A. Cup and Swindon Town, who replicated Queens Park Rangers success from 2 years before by beating 1st Division Arsenal, whilst a 3rd Division club.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

For the first time, the fixtures for the upcoming 1969/70 season were put into the middle of the guide.

Stapled, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

1970’s – Time for a name change

This decade saw the last years of the guide.

From the 1973/74 edition, the guide changed name to the Weekend Football Guide. All other aspects of the guide stayed as before.

For the 1974/75 edition, the final one, the guide was expanded with an extra 100 pages and included many photos to supplement the usual details that the guide had always provided looking back at the season before and through the fixture lists, looking forward to the season ahead.

 

21. 1970/71

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1969/70 season.

Roy Peskett’s season review commented on Britain’s first £200k transfer which saw Martin Peters moving from West Ham United to Tottenham Hotspur. Peskett praised Alan Ball and talked about Bobby Charlton‘s 100 England caps.

Everton won the 1st Division title, Chelsea won the F.A. Cup and Manchester City won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The 1970 World Cup Finals, played in Mexico and won by Brazil were featured.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1970/71 season.

Stapled again, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

22. 1971/72

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1970/71 season.

Roy Peskett’s season review concentrated on Arsenal’s league and cup double. Also, the biggest shock of the F.A. Cup, Colchester United’s 5th Round defeat of Leeds United was also highlighted.  Tottenham Hotspur won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1971/72 season.

Stapled again, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

23. 1972/73

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1971/72 season.

Roy Peskett’s season review focused on the efforts of Leeds United who had come so close to winning everything but ended up winning just the F.A. Cup. Derby County won the 1st Division title. Stoke City won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1972/73 season.

Stapled again, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

24. 1973/74

This edition of the guide looked back at the 1972/73 season.

Roy Peskett’s season review mentioned the 99 players sent off, a record number.

Liverpool won the 1st Division title, Sunderland won the F.A. Cup and Tottenham Hotspur won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1973/74 season.

Stapled again, the guide was again 128 pages long and at the smaller, 1958/59 edition size.

 

25 . 1974/75

This last edition of the guide looked back at the 1973/74 season.

There were a few changes for what looks like the last edition of the guide. There was a name change (to the Weekend Football Guide), a change in binding (from stapled to bound) and an increase in page numbers (from 128 to 228).

The increased page numbers allowd for some content changes including the re-introduction of some photographs.

Roy Peskett’s season review was changed into a Diary of the Season where the highlights of each month were summarised in chronological order.

Leeds United won the 1st Division title, Liverpool won the F.A. Cup and Wolves won the League Cup.

The usual features covering the previous season were all included.

The guide finished off by listing all the fixtures for the upcoming 1974/75 season.

For this edition, the last, the guide was bound and expanded to 228 pages long

 

Collecting, values and prices

As with many of the pocket annuals of the period, most of the Daily Mail Football Guides are reasonably easy to find on the usual sites for a few pounds.

Unlike other annuals, the earlier editions are in better supply to the years towards the end of the guide’s life.

I have never seen an edition of the 1966/67 guide and only spotted one for sale on Amazon for £50, including postage and packing, a little steep for me.

Collectors can watch out for the sort of faults that can be found on the pocket annuals of this era;

  • split / worn spines especially the spine ends on both stapled and bound issues
  • scratches, indentations and marks to the covers
  • split front and / or back hinges inside the annual itself especially in the bound issues
  • writing on the covers but especially inside the books, often noting scores in the fixture lists
  • missing pages sometimes from the centre areas for the stapled editions
  • age fading to the whiteness of the inside pages, especially the borders
  • orange foxing spots and also signs of damp / water damage

As with all annuals, if collectors find ones in very good condition with an absence of the faults listed above, I’d recommend snapping them up, even if that means paying a little bit more.

 

Final word

The Daily Mail Football Guide had a medium length of life by the standards of pocket football annuals. As ever with these types of annuals, they were a lovely snapshot of their time.

The guides spanned the period from the early 1950’s towards the mid 1970’s as the game changed quite a bit in just about every aspect.

The annuals were a nice mix of comment and analysis with records and statistics about the game.

Finally, the annuals are a good reminder of newspaper from a time when it provided very good football coverage perhaps in less contentious editorial times in the newspaper’s pre-tabloid incarnation.

======================================================================================

See the About Us link, top right for details on how you can best use this site and the search facility in the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop.

Use the Ebay links above to take you to the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop Homepage from where you can check out the available items in the FOOTBALL ANNUALS sections and the other categories of football memorabilia and cricket memorabilia;

Click here to go directly to the Football annuals in the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop

Category: Football Annuals

Tags: Daily Mail Football Guide, Weekend Football Guide

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tags

Showing top 10 tags. See all 215.

Archives