ONE of life's great mysteries centres on why the FA is taking such a long time to invite Bolton and West Ham United to contest the first ever game at the new Wembley Stadium.
It is a logical choice, harmonious to history and an event which would be met with minimal fuss by all who follow the great game.
It is common knowledge that these two proud clubs, with tremendous traditions, contested the first ever FA Cup Final at Wembley in 1923. Those of you in possession of the original programme, without blemishes, are sitting on the princely sum of £1500.
Interestingly, a ticket from the game sells for even more,
largely as a result of it being the first and last occasion an FA
Cup Final was not an all ticket affair and fewer were produced than
Such is the scarcity of the programme that a replica was produced in the late 1970s which itself commands a sum of £10.
Less demanding on the savings account but arguably just as beautiful is a reprinted photo of the two captains on the day, West Ham United's George Kay and Bolton's Joseph Smith. Nostalgia does indeed warm the soul while a mere £2 will add this gem to your collection.
For Bolton it was the first of three FA Cup Final successes in the 1920s with the silverware heading to Lancashire in both 1926 and 1929 also, as long serving legendary manager Charles Foweraker (1919 - 1944) left his indelible mark on the club's history.
Each one of those programmes sells for between £800 and £1000.
The legendary "Stanley Matthews" Final of 1953 in which Blackpool overcome a strong Bolton side now sells for £100 while the 1958 victory over a depleted Manchester United side, post Munich, is also creeping close to the three figure mark.
West Ham's return to Premiership football this year emulates the feat of the 1957/58 Hammers who finally returned to top flight football after a 25 year spell in the wilderness.
During that 1958/59 season, in which West Ham United topped the
table early on before finishing in a creditable sixth spot, Bolton
succumbed both at home and away.
The home game is particularly memorable after a 4-3 victory courtesy of rare goals from John Bond (twice!), Harry Obeney and the more prolific John Dick. This can be yours for just a few pounds.
An identical result on Saturday would afford special status to the matchday programme.