Army v Navy Match – Artwork Through the Years

2019 - Army v Navy Artwork

As a rugby historian I have a collection of most of the match programmes that have been produced for the 101 Army v Navy Matches played and so, as a photographer, it was particularly pleasing to be a small part of producing this season's artwork.  Working alongside Charley (Charley Rose Photography) and Lee Crabb (Scrumpix Images) we created the headshots of the two scrum halves - Gareth Rees (Royal Navy) and Morgan Evans (Army) - whilst the infill images were taken from our work in support of the Army v Navy Match on game day.

Below I have reproduced a number of programme covers from throughout the years.  I have included each year when the template changed and then more recently each cover.  Until 2019 the template had been around since 2012 with just the two players changing and the supporting impact artwork, although the centenary match had four players.

I believe Sapphire Seven Ltd, who market the Army v Navy Match, have come up with a good, fresh and modern design for the 102nd Army v Navy Match which continues the evolution of the match day promotional artwork.  It has come a long way since the folded piece of card used for the early 2d programmes.

I have included the programme cover from 1991 which advertises the 75th Army v Navy Match (billed as Royal Navy v Army as in those days the 'home' team was named first).  This match was actually only the 74th 'official' Army v Navy Match from when the series began in February 1907.  On the front cover of the very first matchday programme you will note the name George Levick.  George Levick was secretary of the match and is consequently listed centred and under the referee rather than under either side.  Each team had a team secretary listed.  This was because the game was played before the formal formation of the Royal Navy Rugby Union - this was not to happen until later in the year when the same George Levick became their first Honorary Secretary.

I wonder what historians in the future will glean from today's programme covers and artwork.

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