Dave Gundry, Programme Addict
Let me say from the very beginning, I am a programme addict! I seem to have over the years collected programmes from theatre shows, concerts and any sports events I have been to. I must have collected hundreds. This is one of the reasons I now find myself the custodian of the MKDSA Programme Archive.
Regarding my own programme collection, the only rule I ever had was that I had to be there! This obviously had to change if we were going to try and collect programmes from every Dons match they have ever been played.
It was September 2014, when the, then chairman of the MKDSA sent out a request for people to get involved with an archive project. History and football are two of my favourite interests, how could I not offer to help in any small way. I did not realise then how much it would become something of an obsession.
We probably had around 250 programmes originally that had been kindly donated. Most them being home programmes. Once they had been sorted into the different seasons. They were then analysed and the front covers, interviews and posters were recorded. The front cover was also scanned to be included on the MKDSA “The History in the Making” website.
The website includes information on every season, results, scorers and attendance figures, a timeline of key events and the front cover of every programme from every League and Cup matches that the Dons have played. The website is continuing to be worked on and we are currently working on including a short biography of every player who has played for the Dons since 2004.
Getting back to my obsession, I mean programmes. Once I had shifted through the many many copies we had received, I began a regular trawl of auction websites and programme dealers to source the missing ones. Since 2015 the club have kindly donated a home programme to the library which has helped tremendously. It also needs to be mentioned other supporters who have continued to donate and obtain programmes from those away matches that I cannot attend.
I can’t explain the joy of finally tracking down an old programme and adding it to the library. For example, I was so excited to have finally obtained a copy of Dons verses Barnsley, 7 August 2004, I even shared it on to my own personal Facebook page. My wife was not impressed about me advertising the fact that I had such a rare and valuable item, (albeit only costing £3.00 and that included the postage and packing!)
During the last three years, I have spent many hours searching, sourcing and cataloguing the programmes and honestly believe we at the Dons must be in a unique position of being one of the very few clubs, if not the only one, to have a complete (nearly complete anyway) set of programmes, for all home and away matches that we have ever played. I want to officially thank everyone who has contributed in making this collection possible. Who says, “We have no history?”
As of the time of writing this, we currently have 681 copies of the 709 matches played up to the end of the 2016/17 season. That leaves only 28 left to find. I’d better get back to Ebay!
If you think you can help finding the illusive 28 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a current list of missing programmes or wish to have a look at the History in the Making website the address is www.mkdsa.org.uk/index.html