Barry completes unique collection of Rovers programmes

�100 gem: Barry Watson with the elusive Accrington v Doncaster programme.       Picture: Steve parkin
�100 gem: Barry Watson with the elusive Accrington v Doncaster programme. Picture: Steve parkin

supporter Barry Watson has finally achieved his ambition of owning every Doncaster Rovers programme home and away since the second world war.

And he says finding the final missing programme - a four-page publication from the mid-1940s - is better than winning the National Lottery.

The 62-year-old from Balby had despaired of ever finding the 1946-47 Accrington Stanley-Rovers FA Cup first round replay programme to complete his unique collection.

It didn’t help Barry, who first came up with the idea of trying to collect the set in the late 60s, that there was no date on the programme that he needed.

Despite attending programme fairs all over the country, Barry told The Star that he’d never seen the programme, which cost two pence, until he actually got hold of it after paying out £100 for the privilege.

He had thought he had tracked it down earlier this year, but the publication - also undated - referred to the Division Three (North) game between the two sides that season.

After scouring the country looking for the programme, it was someone from the same district of Doncaster who put him on the right track.

“There was a knock on the door and a man asked me if I was Barry Watson and was I still looking for the Accrington-Rovers programme,” recalled Barry.

“I said I was and he told me that his 92 year-old dad, who used to ‘drag’ him off to watch the team play when he was younger, had it

“I paid him £100 for it, which I did for the league game between the two clubs the same season, earlier this year. I couldn’t believe I’d found it and I told a friend that if I had the choice of finding the programme or winning a million pounds, I’d pick the programme - though I’m probably the only person who would do.

Although the programme now takes pride of place in his vast collection, it is not the most expensive.

“That’s a 1951-52 programme for a Rovers match at Luton which kicked off at 1.30pm on a midweek afternoon and not many were printed because they weren’t expecting a big crowd,” said Barry, who splashed out £700 to buy it.

His third favourite is from a 1935-36 Manchester United-Rovers game.