Spot yourself in the crowd and win Ten Bob promised the regular column in the Official Programme of Derby County Football Club during the course of the 1956/57 Season.
Following previous posts in May 2013 and May 2014 about 'Faces in the Crowd', I've discovered this earlier example of the tradition which this time printed a square white box (as opposed to the circular varieties) around the winning face. Back then, photographs were sparingly used in these publications, and they offer up a rare glimpse into the faces of football fans of this era standing on the terraces dressed in jackets and ties, often topped with a flat cap.
Seen out of context, photos of a crowd of people with a highlighted figure makes for rather uncomfortable viewing - like something out of a creepy dystopian book or film. But in this case, almost sixty years ago, it's nice to think that the individual who had been picked out of the crowd went home with an unexpected prize of a 10/- note.
|Published in the Derby County v Hull City programme, 15th September 1956. Too bad the chap in front missed out on the chance of a 10 shillings prize by hoping to spot himself instead...|
|Derby v Bradford City programme, 13th October 1956. Check the bow-tie. Could those mop-tops in the front be sisters or even twins?|
|Lady with white necklace captured in the white box, 10th November 1956|
Here's a reminder of the previous Faces in the Crowd:
From Leyton Orient's promotion season to the 1st Division in 1961/1962, and in blue and white print, taken at Millwall's former ground, the Den, during the tail end of the 1960s...
|Jolly faces at Brisbane Road, three white hand-drawn circles|
|Caps still in fashion for the older Millwall fan|
|*10/- Reward* appeared on Page 5 of the matchday programme. This group shot is awash with grey - coats, caps and jackets|
Note that in the information accompanying the photograph, it is stated that the person is "ringed" - however the ring is not a ring. It is drawn as a square.
Incidentally, Derby County would continue to play their home fixtures at the Baseball Ground for another forty-one years following the moment in time when these '10/- Reward' photographs were taken. The stadium was indeed first used to watch the sport of baseball, which had been introduced to Britain by the industrialist Francis Ley in 1890.
Were there attempts of the 'Face in the Crowd' promotion preceding these Derby County examples? Can anyone help me spot other versions published over the years?