Parliament Road, Middlesbrough, a few minutes’ walk from where the home of ‘The Boro’ and 1966 World Cup venue Ayresome Park stadium once stood, is where you’ll find ‘Boro Programmes’. A small shop packed to the ceiling with football programmes, books, fanzines, and the odd bit of memorabilia, Boro Programmes is the sort of football collectors mecca where Soccer Mad Boffins like ourselves can easily spend hours searching through cardboard boxes full of World Cup paraphernalia, obscure reserve league teamsheets, and long since out-of-print books about teams, players, and leagues past and present.
Whilst specialising in all things related to Middlesbrough FC, what is valuable about the place to football enthusiasts more generally is that yes, you’ll find programmes from the latest FA Cup Finals, and international fixtures, but side-by-side you’ll also find stuff you hadn’t necessarily thought about, or even knew about. For instance: Need a 1987 Freight Rover Trophy regional group stage programme to complete your collection? Boro Programmes will dig it out from the room out the back. Curious about who played for England in a long since forgotten 1960s world cup qualifier? It’ll be filed away with the others in a box next to the window. Trying to find a book about the Tuvulu Sunday league recommended to you by some bloke stood at the bar of a northern league team social club? Boro Programmes will ask around the grapevine and procure one for you.