Hearts v Manchester United programme sells for more than £4,000

A Hearts programme from a game against English giants Manchester United in 1960 has sold at an auction for around £4,500.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 1:14 pm

The item went on sale at Stacey’s Auctioneers and Valuers on Monday and had an estimate between £30 and £40.

However, it sold for more than 100 times the price with the hammer going down at £3,600. A buyer’s premium was added to take it to around £4,500, making it one of, if not the most expensive Hearts programmes ever.

It is from Hearts’ 10-game tour of North America at the end of the famous 1959-1960 season in which the team won the league and League Cup double.

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A Hearts programme sold for more than £4,000. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey

The Jam Tarts met Manchester United, managed by Matt Busby, on four occasions during the tour but this particular item is from the American League Soccer News ahead of the clubs’ meeting in New York, a game which Manchester United would win 3-0 in front of more than 10,000 fans at Triborough Stadium.

It advertises “Manchester United of England vs’ Hearts of Scotland - English and Scottish Booters Again Welcomed to New York.”

The Americans were delighted to witness the teams compete.

It read: “It’s an honour to welcome distinguished guests, a pleasure the second time while on a third occasions we consider them “one of the family”. And that is our sentiments today as we again extend a friendly hand to Manchester United, of England and Hearts (sic) of Midlothian, of Scotland.”

The first page of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers

Football fans in New York were familiar with the Capital side, Hearts having embarked on a nine-game North American tour in 1958.

They defeated Manchester City 6-5 at the illustrious Ebbets Field, which was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1957.

“Hearts, too, are no strangers, having staged the memorable May 1958 exciting game, played in a torrential downpour before 25,000-odd spectators, against Manchester City, of England, edging the English team by a 6-5 score. Since that eventual game, Hearts last summer visited Austrialia (sic), where they made a shambles of the Down Under Patriots, winning by lopsided 13-0, etc., scores on a 10-game tour.

“Hearts, newly-crowned champions of the Scottish First Division, are under the leadership of Tommy Walker, a former Scottish international player, as is Matt Busby.”

The reverse of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers

It added: “Tommy Walker, Manager of Hearts, had an early international baptism. At 18 years of age in 1935, he was Scotland’s youngest player against England and Wales. He had a total of 25 international appearances during his playing career.”

The programme also noted that Jimmy Wardhaugh, who captained the side in the “spine-tingler” against Manchester City as he was “now playing for Dunfermline Athletic”.

Manchester United received the “British Commonwealth Cup” for wining the game after it was donated by former United player Ira G. Harrison. He had also presented Hearts with the “New York Empire State Cup” for the win over City in 1958.

The Jam Tarts won five of their ten games during the 1960 tour, including a 4-0 defeat of United, gaining their revenge a few days later.

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