Rare Invincibles cup final programme set for auction

A RARE 1889 Preston vs Wolves FA Cup final programme is set to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000 at an auction.
Rare: Right, the single-sheet programme from PNEs 1889 FA Cup final winRare: Right, the single-sheet programme from PNEs 1889 FA Cup final win
Rare: Right, the single-sheet programme from PNEs 1889 FA Cup final win

When this programme came up for sale in London in 2006 it was expected to fetch around £7,000 but in the end sold for £19,000.

It remains one of the most valuable programmes ever sold at an auction.

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Now it is up for sale again at Graham Budd Auctions in London on Tuesday, November 8, and it is expected to sell for between £15,000 and £20,000.

It is an exceptionally valuable programme because it is a rare memento of the most exciting period in Preston North End’s history when, in 1889, they won the FA Cup and then, in that same year,won the very first Football League title, making PNE the first club ever to complete the ‘double’.

What made Preston’s achievement even more remarkable was they did not lose any of their Football League or FA Cup matches or concede any goals in their FA Cup matches that season earning them the nickname The Invincibles.

On their way to the FA Cup final at the Kennington Oval in London on March 30, 1889 – it would be another thirty four years before an FA Cup final was staged at Wembley Stadium - PNE beat Bootle, Grimsby Town, Birmingham St George’s, West Bromwich Albion and then Wolves 3-0 in the final,with goals from Fred Dewhurst, Jimmy Ross and Sam Thomson.

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Preston-born Fred Dewhurst, who captained that great Preston team, was a master at Preston Catholic Grammar School.

He also played for England nine times and scored a hat-trick in Preston’s club record 26-0 victory against Hyde in a first round FA Cup tie on October 15,1887. But, tragically, on April 21, 1895, only six years after helping Preston clinch their historic double, Dewhurst died at the age of 31.

In his book, An English Football Internationalists’ Who’s Who, the late Douglas Lamming says Fred Dewhurst was “splendidly proportioned and diligent in performance, excelled in footwork and performance.”

One of the most colourful figures – and the club’s leading scorer with 21 goals in 21 games in Preston’s 1888-1889 double-winning season – was centre forward John Goodall, who played for England fourteen times and later became Watford’s first manager.

He died in Watford on May 20, 1942, and is buried at Watford North Cemetery in an unmarked grave.