Walsall Web Fans takes a look back at three seasonal programme cover designs of the Saddlers News issued at Christmas time in 1966, 1967 and 1968.
For the Boxing Day game of the 1966-7 season against Reading, the illustration showed Santa on a sleigh hinting that there would be enough points in his sack to ensure promotion to Division Two. It was two points for a win in those days, hence the appearance of the red number 2′s. Walsall beat Reading 3-1 in front of 10,557 fans at Fellows Park. The Saddlers were 8th in the table at Christmas but slipped to 12th by the season’s end.
For the following 1967-8 season’s design v. Watford on December 19th, again featured Santa, in his Walsall hat, climbing out of the division on his promotion ladder, suggesting that we would finish higher than our nearest rivals Torquay, Oxford and Peterborough. Walsall actually led the Third Division table from early October to late January, before fading to 7th at the end of that season. The game ended 1-1 with 9,409 present.
By the next season, 1968-9, the programme editor seemed to have learned his lesson from his previous two optmistic designs and with Walsall in 15th spot for the scheduled date of the Tranmere Rovers visit of December 28th, the theme was more of a greetings only design, with one mini-skirted female fan being chased by a cheeky male Saddler holding mistletoe! The game was postponed, as was the re-arranged game of January 21st. The third and final issue was for the game when it was played on March 25th. These three fun seasonal designs made a nice change from the usual one but sadly was not repeated the following year.