Saturday 4th November 1995
Venue: Coles Lane
Beazer Homes League – Midland Division
Programme Price: 80p
If you are like me and you like your programmes to include plenty of facts and figures, then this programme covers that subject in abundance. A very interesting read, so without further ado, let’s see what it has to offer.
This issue consists of 20 pages from the front to back cover and of course, starts with page 1 being the front cover. Page 2 is a full-page advert which is followed by a Welcome to Coles Lane, written by the then Sutton Coldfield first manager, Chris Wright. The gaffer welcomes all to the game and talks about his concerns about the inconsistency shown by his players during previous games. The same page also provides information on forthcoming games at Coles Lane. The next game after this one would be between Birmingham Celtic v Oscott SOC the following day.
Page 4 is titled ‘Royal News’ and as you would expect from Sutton Coldfield being nicknamed the Royals, this page provides all the latest news going on at the club. The same page also takes a look back at the club’s game played in the same week but during the previous year. The game in question was a 3-4 home defeat in front of 216 spectators against, and wait for it, Forest Green Rovers! What a meteoric rise the Gloucestershire-based club have had over the years!
Pages 5 and 6 both feature adverts with page 7 looking at the Royals’ opponents, Bridgnorth Town. The club was formed in 1946, and although they are today known as AFC Bridgnorth, the original side went by the name of St Leonard’s FC. In those formative years, the club played in the Kidderminster and District League. The same page also provides information on previous meetings between Sutton Coldfield and Bridgnorth. At the time of writing, they had played each other 17 times with the previous meeting taking place on 8th April 1995, a 2-0 win for Bridgnorth at Coles Lane.
Page 8 features Bridgnorth player profiles as well as lots of statistics. Paul Bywater, a defender, had been signed from Gloucester City and started his career at Shrewsbury Town. Peter McBean is described as a prolific goal scorer in non-league football and had previously played for Bedworth United, Nuneaton Borough, Tamworth and Telford United. As I mentioned in my introduction, I love football facts and figures and I was particularly interested in those shown on this page. Bridgnorth’s highest attendance in the 1995/1996 season saw 475 spectators watching their game at Crown Meadow against Nuneaton Borough. The top goal scorer was the aforementioned Peter McBean with 12 goals to his name and the team as a whole had scored 30 and conceded 40 goals in the 18 league games they had played.
Page 9 is an advert with page 10 providing a results grid with the same page showing the Beazer Homes League Midland Division. As of 3rd November 1995, Sutton Coldfield were in 10th place with Bridgnorth Town residing in 17th position in the 22-team division.
Page 11 makes for interesting reading as it provides appearances and goal scorers for the Royals in the 1995/1996 season and in total for their time spent at the club. The player with the most appearances to his name at the time of writing was Andy Biddle who had played 347 times and had scored 49 goals. The same page also shows a list of Post War Honours won by the club. In 1947 they won the Walsall Senior League and were West Midlands Regional League Champions in 1980. Meanwhile, The Royals had also enjoyed two runs to the FA Cup First Round in 1980 and 1992 respectively. The 1992 run saw them losing narrowly to Bolton Wanderers by 2 goals to 1 in front of 5,345 spectators at Burnden Park.
Page 12 provides two adverts with the following page featuring all the Royals fixtures and previous results for the 1995/1996 season. The club opened their league campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Nuneaton Borough in front of a very healthy attendance of 1,002. Meanwhile, their first league win of the season came at the third time of asking, a 3-2 home victory against Stourbridge, watched by 167 spectators.
Page 14 is titled Beazer Homes League facts and figures – as of 28.10.95 a total of 34,100 people had attended Midland Division games during the 1995/1996 season giving an average attendance of 271. The biggest attendance saw 1,202 people watching Nuneaton Borough v King’s Lynn whilst the lowest attendance was given as 67 people watching the game between Buckingham v Corby Town. The following two pages both feature several adverts.
Page 17 is titled For the Record – this section looks at the Royals’ recent games by providing results, goal scorers, team line ups and attendances. One of these games was a FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round 2nd Replay at Bilston Town which the home side won by 2 goals to 1 in front of 154 spectators.
Page 18 provides details of the Royals’ forthcoming away fixtures, one of which was to be at Bedworth United on Tuesday 14th November in the Beazer Homes League Midland Division. This is followed by an advert on page 19 with the programme finishing with the team line ups on the back cover with the referee named as T.A. Parkes from Birmingham.
I have really enjoyed reading and reviewing this programme, an excellent read which if I was buying today I would more than happily pay at least £2.50 for. For the record, and whilst I haven’t been able to find out the result of this match, I have ascertained that Sutton Coldfield finished the 1995/1996 Beazer Homes League Midland Division in 13th place. Meanwhile, Bridgnorth Town went on to have a very difficult season and finished bottom of the table.