THIS year’s annual Programme and Memorabilia Fair will take place at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday 2 July, from 10AM-1.30 PM.

And this year there will be more in the way of football stalls - with some real star attractions.

“The event continues to generate much enthusiasm, both locally and regionally,” says organiser Alex Service, “and this year we have a few specialist football stalls.

"There always seems to be a cross-over between the two sports, so widening the scope of the event will certainly increase interest overall.”

One of the items on offer is this marvellous trade card from the legendary Haydock Football Club from the late 19th century, when they were a powerful force in the Lancashire League, winning the competition two years in succession, from 1893-95.

They never aspired to the Lancashire Combination, however, like local rivals St Helens Recs and were thus denied the chance to play against the powerful reserve outfits of Liverpool, Everton and Newton Heath [Manchester United].

Their opponents included the likes of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Skelmersdale united, Skerton, Earlestown, Barrow and Rochdale Town who were regular visitors to the club’s ground next to the Waggon and Horses pub.

The ground itself was the focus for other activities such as sports days in summer, including bicycle races and in 1894 over 600 children assembled for the start of the annual procession in connection with the coronation of the Queen of May.

According to a local newspaper report, “the village bore an animated appearance and the roadways were lined with spectators.”

Largest attendance? Not for football! In June 1895 over 4,000 miners packed into the enclosure to air their grievances against the local collieries of Richard Evans and Company.

In a re-played Lancashire Junior Cup tie against Skirton in 1899, and, according to local reports, a hurricane blew off the top of the grandstand and carried away part of the boarding around the field.”

“If you are not going to Perpignan for the Saints’ game you are more than welcome to come along,” adds Alex “and the proceeds from the Saints’ Heritage Society’s stall will go to the Saints’ Community Foundation. If anyone would like to book a table, or indeed would like to donate any items to sell on the day, give me a ring on 01744 756135.”